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Program Development Question List


This list of questions was developed by Jay Kernis for a program development exercise he has conducted with both NPR and station programs.


  • A source of in-depth discussion?
  • A source of diverse opinions?
  • A place to meet newsmakers?
  • A place to meet those who are affected by news events?
  • A place to meet people on the cutting edge?
  • A source of breaking news?
  • A source of the story behind the story?
  • A source of new ideas?
  • A place in which wrongs and wrong-doers will be investigated and those who do good are celebrated?
  • A place that helps listeners make sense of events and issues and the behavior of those involved?
  • A showcase for your talent and ideas?
  • A place for stories and ideas not found on other public radio shows?
  • A source of humor and entertainment?



  • Authoritative?
  • Smart?
  • Live vs. packaged?
  • Engaging?
  • Crisp, lively and upbeat?
  • Sophisticated and hip?
  • Fresh and fun?
  • Fair and balanced?
  • Is it "on my side"?
  • Friendly or challenging?
  • Conversational and relaxed?
  • Predictable or spontaneous?
  • Important?
  • Free flowing or highly structured?
  • Sexy?
  • Activist, crusading?
  • Educational?
  • Inspirational?


  • What talents have the following people brought to radio that have led to the success of their broadcasts? (Bob Edwards, Garrison Keillor, Don Imus, Neal Conan, Rush Limbaugh, Terry Gross, Scott Simon)
  • When you were performing at your best, what qualities or strengths come to mind?
  • What elements of your work, if developed or grown, would make you better?
  • Who do you want to be on the air when you grow up?
  • When you think of yourself on the air, do you think of yourself as a guide, entertainer, authority or companion? Or do you think, "I'm the guy who asks the questions"?
  • How fully formed in your mind is the Doug we're hearing on the air?
  • Who critiques you?
  • How often is the show critiqued?
  • What do you do on the air when you realize the show's energy is getting low?


  • Subjects that are topical?
  • Profiles of interesting people?
  • New technology?
  • Quirky or remarkable things that people do?
  • Movies?
  • Music?
  • Television?
  • Books?
  • Religion?
  • Men, women and sex?
  • Crime?
  • American lifestyles and trends?
  • Home and family issues?
  • Consumer, money, economics?
  • Education?
  • Foreign policy, foreign issues?
  • Sports?
  • Environment?
  • History?
  • Theatre?
  • What stories have you been concentrating on most?
  • Do you normally cover only one subject an hour?


  • Be important in the lives of listeners?
  • Help listeners understand why things have happened?
  • Help people understand why people have behaved in a certain way?
  • Not be afraid of strong, provocative ideas?
  • Be on the side of the listeners?
  • Be skeptical or supportive of people who are do-gooders?
  • Be skeptical or supportive of people who turn their ideas into big money?
  • Be pleased when someone has done something wonderful?
  • Care about the people you interview?
  • Be suspicious of the people you interview?
  • Be interested by human behavior that is outrageous or peculiar?
  • Laugh with others and laugh at yourselves?
  • Know more than your listeners about the subjects you discuss?
  • Always strive to be fair and balanced?
  • Sum up or reach a conclusion for your audience?


  • When you think about the PRPD Core Values, is there one that's most important to you when you're on the air?


  • If you could change anything abut the show right now that would help you make it everything you want it to be, what would you change to achieve it?


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