Sunday, May 3, 2009

NPR axes Christian radio programs

In 1985, National Public Radio (NPR) adopted a policy stating that member stations had to provide "nonsectarian, non-political, noncommercial" educational programming. But in February 2009, the wording was changed to say: "NPR Member Stations shall provide ONLY [emphasis added] nonsectarian, non-political, noncommercial educational content on all broadcast channel(s) and related media distribution platforms such as member partners that use the NPR member brands."

The rule, which takes effect May 1, means that any NPR stations carrying religious programming must cease and desist that programming as of that date. In explaining its decision in a similar matter, PBS -- another federally funded media outlet -- says it "places a high value on presenting diverse perspectives, as opposed to rigidly adhering to any single political or religious point of view." Allowing such programming, it continues, "would cause the public's trust in PBS to erode, along with the value of the brand."

David McNabb is the host of "Christian Corner" on KJZA (in Williams, Arizona), which is a partner station with KJZZ in Phoenix. His and several other religious programs featured on the NPR member station will be axed effective tomorrow.

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