NPR, National Public Radio, has some explaining to do.
Finally after many delays, NPR has published its sponsor and donor list for 2008.
There are 45 sponsors that are major music, film, television, media, and publishing companies. Their donations range from under $50 thousand, up to a half a million. Here's the list.
This presents some real problems for fairness in NPR's coverage of the arts and the media. Here are some of the main ones.
There are 45 major sponsors that may be expecting access or good reviews for their donations. And they may be getting it.
There are no tough reviews of any music or books on NPR - none. See
NPR has revenue sharing deals such that they get a percentage back of many of the books or records that are sold by connecting through their website.
From their website (and note this page is very hard to find):
"NPR has agreements with multiple online retailers to offer a wider variety of merchandise through links on our site. Purchases made through these links result in a portion of your total purchase being given to NPR, called a revenue share. These funds are used to support NPR programming online and on air. NPR only receives this money if you shop through one of the links on npr.org or shop.npr.org. Once you've entered the third party site, NPR receives a revenue share from all products you purchase during that visit. "
They will not talk about any aspect connected with the music and publishing , etc. of those opposed to these policies, and will not partake in revenue sharing deals.
They will not respond to these tough questions.
NPR does not have tough coverage of any aspect of any art industry. They may suggest that all things are considered, but there is no tough, fair , and balanced news story on
1. any of the abuses of any sponsor or mainstream company connected to the arts or media, or
2. any stories on the dangers of art and media consolidation, or
3. any stories on why they are blocking any fair coverage of those opposed to media consolidation and support the art revolution, or
4. any coverage of any musician, or writer opposed to revenue sharing.
That's a lot of smoke. Where there's smoke....
NPR is either too arrogant too respond to tough questions or they are doing something wrong. No matter which, a cover up is not the best strategy. NPR, let's have some fair dialogue about these tough issues.
NPR Ombudsman, it's your job to follow through on these concerns.
Let's hear from both of you.