This morning we began to hear from listeners who were concerned about NPR’s decision to terminate news analyst Juan Williams’ contract after remarks he made on the Fox News program, The O’Reilly Factor.
You can learn more about NPR’s decision, and the attention that it has generated, by visiting their website. The rationale that NPR has provided for their actions today is based on their view that his comments were, “inconsistent with our editorial standards and practices, and undermined his credibility as a News Analyst with NPR.”
NPR produces many of the programs that Vermont Public Radio (VPR) chooses to broadcast, including Morning Edition and All Things Considered. As a separate independent news organization, VPR holds its staff to the highest standards in professional ethics. Issues such as these are complex and weighed very carefully. We abide by the NPR News Code of Ethics which includes the following statement: “Our coverage must be fair, unbiased, accurate, complete and honest.” As journalists, “we are expected to conduct ourselves in a manner that leaves no question about our independence and fairness.”
This is not the first time that a decision at NPR has generated a response by our listeners. We have reached out to NPR asking for more details on the rationale for their dismissal of Williams and await their reply. If you would like to contact NPR directly you can do so by calling the NPR Listener Care Line at (202) 513-3232 (open from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.) or via their website.
As always, we appreciate hearing from our listeners, whether it is positive feedback or constructive criticism.
President and CEO
Vermont Public Radio
UPDATE (10/25/10): NPR CEO Apologizes For Handling Of Williams' Termination.
UPDATE (10/22/10): NPR's Ombudsman Alicia Shepard shares her view in a post titled, "NPR's Firing of Juan Williams Was Poorly Handled."