Executive Summary: PRPD's Core Values of Local Programming (2001)
Copyright© 2002 by Public Radio Program Directors
Inc. - Unauthorized duplication prohibited.
- We found that many public radio listeners, especially those
who are core to an NPR station, want a comprehensive range
of news and information programming from their station-including
local as well as national and international.
- We found a widening opportunity for public radio stations
to serve listeners who are highly critical of local, commercial
radio and TV news and talk shows they describe as shallow, sensational,
loud and manipulative.
- Public radio listeners want local programming on their station
to reflect the same Core Values as network programming.
Most importantly, they want information in depth so they can
think about large issues.
- Core public radio news listeners draw a clear line between local
information they can get from other sources (such as local newspaper/wire
service headlines) and coverage that gives them knowledge, understanding
and makes them think.
- The word "local" is not particularly useful for producers
and reporters seeking to understand what core listeners want in
coverage about their communities. They reject local news that
fails to present information in a context that allows them to
"connect the dots", dismissing it as "merely local" or "parochial"
(defined by the dictionary as "of narrow range, merely local,
- Public radio listeners, especially those who use an NPR station
as their primary choice view events in their communities as part
of an interconnected web of causal relationships. They
put a high value on in-depth local news programming that presents
issues and ideas in context, asking and answering questions such
Has it happened before here?
Has it happened elsewhere?
Is it part of a pattern?
What is the cause?
What is the impact?
In their view, no event is isolated on any level-local, national
or international. The most highly valued local news presentations
integrates their experience as citizens of their communities,
their nation and the world.
- There is no advantage in local origination if the presentation
is below network standards.