Bursting The Beltway Bubble

NPR listeners and readers make their case for a less "D.C.-centric" point of view.
Dan Hanrahan works on his farm on October 10, 2019 in Cumming, Iowa. Hanrahan said that "the Iowa caucuses allow a rural area to have a say in the political process." Source: Joe Raedle

As I finish up my tenure as NPR's Public Editor, I've been looking back over some of the persistent themes that have run through the audience concerns I've heard. One in particular has come up routinely. Broadly speaking, many in NPR's nationwide audience say they feel that NPR's representation of the U.S. focuses far too much on Washington, D.C., and the largest East and West Coast cities, and not nearly enough on the non-coastal rest of the country.

These concerns have taken many forms:

Listeners, mostly in the rural center of the country, who tell me they feel they don't hear their lives reflected on the radio. As one Pennsylvania listener wrote: "I hear exactly the same news from the different programs you offer ... It's all national news." He added, "I always perk up during those precious few moments you allow for PA, OH, NY, DE and MD news because I live in this region. I also listen carefully to what's happening elsewhere in our country. I want to know what neighboring states in my region are doing and what cities similar to mine are doing."

Concerns during the run-up to the 2016 presidential election about NPR's overuse of "Rust Belt"

Vous lisez un aperçu, inscrivez-vous pour en lire plus.

Plus de NPR

NPR4 min de lecture
Finding Joy In The Wreckage: Acknowledging Trauma In The Post-Trump Era
Writer Kiese Laymon has been thinking about how Americans can carry joy and faith as they begin a new chapter, while also acknowledging trauma.
NPR2 min de lectureCrime & Violence
U.S. Military Moves To Try 3 Guantanamo Suspects Linked To Indonesia Bombings
The men have been held in U.S. custody since 2003, accused of planning and helping to carry out the deadly bombing attacks at a Bali nightclub in 2002 and at a J.W. Marriott Hotel in Jakarta.
NPR3 min de lectureMedical
Coronavirus Is Surging: How Severe Is Your State's Outbreak?
View NPR's maps and graphics to see where COVID-19 is hitting hardest in the U.S., which state outbreaks are growing and which are leveling off.