Public Radio, by the Numbers

The media watchdog group Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR) looked at on-air sources for four National Public Radio news shows in June 2003, and think tanks and regular commentators on NPR from May to August 2003. FAIR found: "government officials, professional experts and corporate representatives" represented the majority of sources; Republican sources outnumbered Democrats by more than 3 to 2; centrist think tanks predominated; and regular commentators were more diverse than in 1993. NPR Ombudsman Jeffrey Dvorkin agreed: "NPR is putting more conservatives on the radio than it used to," and maybe "the pendulum has swung too far," while taking issue with some of FAIR's classifications. FAIR's response to the response clarified: "The tilt toward Republicans ... is not based on which party is in power," comparing 1993 and 2003 numbers.