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Project Background

The PRPD/LNI "Sense of Place" research study concluded that the performance of public radio's local news and information programming too often fails to deliver on its promise. Listeners in the study repeatedly described the quality of this programming as "hit or miss."

The study also found that call-in talk programs "split the core" audience - appealing to those who enjoy the companionship, but repelling an important segment who find callers uninformed.

There are strong system-wide aspirations to expand local news service, but the 2006 NPR Local News Station Survey revealed many stations already badly under-resourced and poorly positioned to succeed.

Listeners have clearly told us that to provide the value they expect, we need to make a commitment to do only what we can do well - and do well consistently. The PRPD/LNI Talk Show Best Practices Project was created to provide guidelines, training, and tools like the Talk Show Matrix that can strengthen the planning and production of local programming.