NPR awarded grant to cover increasingly diverse America

By: N M Lorde

National Public Radio (NPR) was awarded a $1.5 million grant to deepen its coverage of race, ethnicity and culture – all in an effort to cover issues that define an America that has become increasingly more diverse. The grant, awarded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) earlier this month, will allow a six-person team at NPR to present new voices and conversations concerning diversity online and on-air.

“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.”

NPR’s main goal is to expand its audience to reach those who are more racially, geographically and ideologically diverse. The team of six journalists will deliver a steady flow of coverage on race, ethnicity and culture on every platform, while enriching the coverage NPR provides to its audience of 26 million on radio and 23 million online – this coverage will expand to include a new branded space within

“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.”

NPR currently has one of the most diverse staff’s in American media, and the organization claims it infuses its journalism with “more diverse sources, experts and story ideas” and stokes 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.”

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