National Public Radio Gets Grant To Better Reflect Its Diverse Public


National Public Radio (NPR) will be launching a major initiative to deepen coverage of Latinos and other cultures this fall thanks to a $1.5 million grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
With this work, NPR hopes to grow on-going efforts to expand its audience with coverage that is welcoming and relevant to more people – reaching those who are more racially, geographically and ideologically diverse. The team’s coverage will provide a portal for new listeners and readers, while enriching the content that NPR provides today to an audience of 26 million on radio and nearly 23 million online.
This initiative is part of a multiyear strategic imperative to ensure that NPR “looks and sounds like America on air and online.” Over the past two years, NPR has improved its staff profile, which is one of the most diverse in American media, infused its journalism with diverse sources, experts and story ideas, and stoked the conversation about these important issues with staff-run workshops.
“At NPR, we’re tackling diversity across a large swath of differences that include class, gender, ideology, sexual orientation, faith and, with this effort, race, ethnicity and culture,” said Keith Woods, NPR’s vice president for Diversity. “With this team, we’ll report from the intersections where, as Americans, we meet and diverge. It’s a topic that touches all of our lives.”
“This new team and defined area of coverage will empower NPR to cover news and issues across the U.S. more fully, delivering on our promise for NPR to look and sound like America,” said Gary E. Knell, president and CEO of NPR, in a statement. “CPB’s forward-thinking commitment to diversity challenges public media to do more, and to do better, and we accept that challenge wholeheartedly.”
Once assembled, the team of six journalists will deliver a steady flow of coverage on every platform. Reporting will magnify the range of existing efforts across NPR to cover and discuss race, ethnicity and culture. NPR will also create a new, branded space within The first platform is expected to launch this fall.
“We want to dive beneath the surface and capture real conversations that people are having about race and ethnicity,” said Margaret Low Smith, NPR’s senior vice president for News. “America is a fascinating and complex place – we want to shed light on that with original and nuanced coverage.”
The editorial team will also work across NPR to infuse more story ideas and diverse sources that reflect the world we live in – spanning beats and platforms to touch more of NPR. This initiative will serve as a model for future topic-focused channels.