NPR veteran Uri Berliner says network has 'lost its way' on journalism

Senior editor Uri Berliner argues NPR has 'lost its way' on issues like transgender terminology and its coverage of the Russiagate scandal.

NPR veteran Uri Berliner says network has 'lost its way' on journalism
AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File
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In a candid article for The Free Press, longtime National Public Radio (NPR) senior editor Uri Berliner leveled harsh criticism at his employer, arguing the public broadcaster has "lost its way" and no longer reflects the diversity of viewpoints across America.

Berliner, who has spent 25 years at NPR, wrote that an "open-minded, curious culture prevailed" at the network previously. However, he said that has changed, with a lack of "viewpoint diversity" now plaguing NPR's coverage.

"It's frictionless — one story after another about instances of supposed racism, transphobia, signs of the climate apocalypse, Israel doing something bad, and the dire threat of Republican policies," Berliner stated, adding that these topics all appear framed in a similar way.

He took particular issue with NPR's guidance advising staffers to avoid the term "biological sex" when covering transgender issues, calling it an example of how a progressive "mindset animates bizarre stories."

Berliner also criticized the network's coverage of the Russia investigation into former President Donald Trump, arguing NPR failed to acknowledge its failure when that narrative "fell apart." He accused NPR of perpetuating a culture that "shatters trust and engenders cynicism about the media."

The veteran editor further faulted NPR for its coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic, saying it ignored the "lab leak theory" on the virus's origins. He argued the network's failure to consider anything outside the "prevailing narrative" was another sign it had strayed from evenhandedness.

In his Free Press piece titled "I've Been at NPR for 25 Years. Here's How We Lost America's Trust," Berliner expressed hope the public broadcaster could "face up to where we've gone wrong," calling on NPR to lead other outlets in self-reflection given its public mandate.

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  • By David Menzies

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