NPR Veteran Says He’s Had ‘Support’ After Speaking Out About Outlet’s Biased Coverage


Hailey Gomez General Assignment Reporter
Font Size:

NPR editor Uri Berliner said Tuesday on NewsNation that despite some backlash he’s received “support” after speaking out about his outlet’s bias during former President Donald Trump’s term.

Berliner appeared on “Cuomo” to discuss his recent essay published in The Free Press, detailing how he saw the outlet attempting to take down Trump by using the Russia collusion allegations that were later debunked. NewsNation host Chris Cuomo questioned the 25-year veteran on his response to some of his colleagues pushing back against his accusations. (RELATED: ‘It’s Devastating’: 25-Year NPR Veteran Cops To All The Biased Coverage Outlet Pushed During Trump Years)

“I’m not surprised by the response that came from management and the same managers I’ve been making lot of these points about — they’re certainly entitled to their perspective. I will say I’ve had a lot of support from colleagues, many of them unexpected, who say they agree with me, some of them say this confidentially. But I think there’s been a lot of response saying, ‘Look, these are things that need to be addressed. We haven’t, we’ve been too reluctant, too frightened, too timid to deal with these things, and I think that this is the right opportunity to bring it all out in the open,” Berliner stated.

Cuomo pressed Berliner on his thoughts regarding the attention of his views, asking if he believed that the outlet has always been that way or if it had evolved. While Berliner described the difference between NPR today versus when he began, the editor continued to state the opportunity for “broader perspectives” to be covered in the news.

“I think it’s evolved. I have been at NPR a long time — 25 years, you know you could say I’m a lifer and it’s a place I’ve always loved working. But when I started there was a liberal orientation, but I think we were more guided by curiosity, open-mindedness, you know you said, talked about policy. We were kind of nerdy, really liked to dig into things and understand the complexity of things. I think that’s evolved over the years into a much narrower kind of niche thinking. A groupthink that’s really clustered around a very selective progressive views. They don’t allow enough air, enough spaciousness, to consider all kinds of perspectives,” Berliner continued.

“I’m not worried, you know, I think people wanna open dialogue. I think people want to have honest debates. You talk about there’s a hunger for this — most people are not locked into ideologies. I think many people are just sick of it and [it’s] one of the reasons people distrust so much of the media, whether it’s legacy media, whether it’s conservative media, you know what you’re getting — it’s all predigested and spit out. You know what the take is gonna be and I think it’s ultimately unsatisfying. For a vast part of this nation, they don’t want it. So I think there’s an opportunity there for much broader perspectives in how we cover the news.”

In addition to Berliner calling out NPR’s coverage of Trump, he claimed within his essay that all levels of the organization had a priority on race and identity as well as an increase in diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) initiatives. Following the piece, NPR’s top news executive pushed back to defend their coverage, with Chief News Executive Edith Chapin stating in a memo to staff that they were “proud to stand behind the exceptional work that our desks and shows do to cover a wide range of challenging stories,” according to the outlet.