NPR Ombudsman: NPR Needs To Do Better On Its Corrections Page

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Was Congressman Ron Paul a credible candidate for the Republican nomination for President in 2008? Is HAMAS a terrorist organization or is it just an organization that the present administration considers a terrorist organization? These are the sorts of questions that were discussed today on WNYC as having crossed the desk of their Ombudsman. NPR’s Ombudsman Alicia C. Shepherd stopped by WNYC’s Leonard Lopate Show today in their Please Explain segment to explain what it is she does with the host and listeners.


NPR was the first broadcast news organization to set up an Ombudsman post. ”I have a two year employment contract,” Shepherd said of her appointment, which began in October 2007, ”…that speaks to (NPR) giving me independence.”

The conversation veered onto the subject of corrections. ”Corrections don’t seem to be enough of the DNA of the newsroom,” Shepherd said. ”Because we have the advantage of the internet … NPR needs to do better with its Corrections Page. Shepherd noted that there haven’t been any official NPR corrections since March 12, according to their page. ”But I’m sure we’ve made errors since then,” replied Lopate.

Alicia C. Shepherd says she, or her assistant, read each and every question/comment that comes via email (corrections@npr.org). NPR, which produces some but not all of their content, has 25.5 million listeners.

(image via ijpc)