National Public Radio’s Image Tarnished by “Citizen Journalist”

National Public Radio’s reputation has recently been damaged due to insensitive remarks made by a top official. James O’Keefe, a self-proclaimed citizen journalist, hired two actors pretending to be from a Muslim organization to have a fake lunch meeting with NPR’s head of fundraising, Ron Schiller. O’Keefe videotaped Schiller in the meeting stating that the tea-party is racist, Islamophobic, and has hijacked the GOP.

Since NPR receives federal funding and claims to respect a variety of viewpoints, these comments were extremely damaging to its reputation. Ron Schiller was dismissed and the chief executive, Vivian Schiller, resigned from the network. NPR made various comments to the press stressing that it does not agree with the statements made by Ron Schiller and condemns O’Keefe’s methods of journalism.

Other than ousting the employee responsible and issuing a few statements to the press about the matter, NPR has done little else about its PR crisis. With the network’s future federal funding up in the air, the network should be more concerned about the public’s perception of the organization. While NPR needs to repair the organization’s management, it also needs to repair its image. NPR will benefit in the long-run by maintaining transparency into the inner-workings of the network and effectively communicating the organization’s values and ideals with more than just a few comments to the press.

This guest blog was written by PRSSA External PR Committee member Kyra Mazurek.@font-face { font-family: “Times New Roman”; }@font-face { font-family: “Calibri”; }p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal { margin: 0in 0in 10pt; line-height: 115%; font-size: 11pt; font-family: Calibri; }p.MsoHeader, li.MsoHeader, div.MsoHeader { margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt; font-size: 11pt; font-family: Calibri; }table.MsoNormalTable { font-size: 10pt; font-family: “Times New Roman”; }div.Section1 { page: Sectio; }

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