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Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Although NPR produces about 120 hours of national programming weekly for its affiliates, local stations also provide important and interesting shows to complement the national stuff. Our affiliate in Phoenix is KJZZ-FM and they provide us great jazz recordings on week nights from 7-11 with local entertainer Blaise Lantana hosting the show. On Sunday nights from 6-11, we are treated to "Those Lowdown Blues" hosted by local blues club owner and musician Bob Corritore. Bob plays great selections from his own lifelong collection of blues recordings and has been doing his show for 18 years on KJZZ. Throw in local news, traffic, and weather cut-ins, all with no commercials, and you have an enjoyable local and national radio listening experience.
News is a big deal at NPR as evidenced by the aforementioned popularity of "Morning Edition" and "All Things Considered". While many networks have decreased news coverage for various reasons, one of which being the dreaded "bottom line", NPR has stepped up their coverage with 37 locations around the world reporting with 22 news bureaus and offices in the United States and 15 in international sites. This coverage has been described by listeners as "vital, "essential", and "indispensable". In 2002, NPR West was established in Los Angeles to give better coverage of the western United States. By establishing this facility, NPR established a critical mass of editorial staff for both coasts. This newsgathering and production division captures news, trends, and ideas from California to Colorado and Seattle to Santa Fe. NPR West also allows more coverage of ethnic diversity, cultural dynamism, and vibrancy of the modern American West. In 2004, $15 million was set aside to invest over three years to expand news services and add more staff. Yes, news is a big deal at NPR!
How about entertainment? Politics and society? Business? People and places? Health and science? Holiday news? Books? Music? Arts and culture? You’ll find national and local coverage of them all on your local NPR affiliate and they will come to you commercial free with articulate hosts.
Radio in general may have lost its luster many years ago but we still have that ray of sunshine amongst the clouds, National Public Radio. (Comments?


Anonymous said...

Hi Jim!

When I was a little girl my parents had an old radio that no longer worked, but they kept it around anyway. It had a wooden cabinet that was probably as tall as I was at the time. It had all kinds of dials on it that I would sit and play with as there were endless station numbers on the there. I imagined all the places this radio could have picked up.

Now that I am an adult I love listening to the "Tappitt Brothers" (Bob and Tom). I don't really know that much about what they are talking about, but they have such an infectious laughter that I love listening to them with their Boston accents.

I love still being able to pick up some classical music on these stations. My husband likes to listen to the financial experts. Snooooooooooooozzzzzzzzeeeeee! LOL

There is something for everyone on NPR!

Happy New Year!


Anonymous said...

Hey Jim!

A topic after my own heart!

NPR has educated me, made me cry, made me mad, made me laugh and compelled me to write letters I would never have penned otherwise. From the moment I began tuning in as a recent college graduate, NPR through KJZZ, has opened the imagination of my mind the way only radio can. It's something that cannot be described, just experienced by radio listeners.

I love NPR. I'm so glad they did open their NPR West office, as I do sometimes feel the broadcasts are East Coast centric. But I'll soldier on.

KJZZ has taken steps to include more local programming in recent years, which I appreciate and look forward to. One highlight are the monthly Here and Now programs with Gov. Janet Napolitano taking questions from listeners. A great program and a great way to speak directly to her constituents. I always learn something about Arizona when I listen.

Other NPR programs I love -- well, that's a long list -- but I have to say The Splendid Table, Marketplace, Car Talk as well as Talk of the Nation and Fresh Air. How would I start my morning without Morning Edition?

Thanks for writing about NPR!

Emily at INI :)