NPR Ombudsman Jeffrey Dvorkin thinks that KCRW's firing and reinstatement of Sandra Tsing Loh -- and her decision to reject the offer -- raises larger issues for the network. He airs it out in his column up today on the National Public Radio website. He also says NPR erred in not reporting the story as it was happening.
Why has NPR not reported this story? So far, nothing has aired on any of the news magazine programs. Only Marketplace (a public radio program not produced by NPR) has aired a report on the controversy (granted, only presenting Loh's side of the story). NPR, in my opinion, owes it to its listeners to take a look at this story, even though it may be uncomfortable to some in the public radio community.
Public radio in general -- and NPR in particular -- has seemed less than eager to report on itself whenever we become the legitimate subject of news reports in other places. We appear too squeamish, as if self-examination and scrutiny are akin to self-promotion.
Get over it, NPR. Let's allow the listeners in on this important discussion.