NPR ombudsman responds to criticism about Al Jazeera America sponsorship ads:

Questions of bias or independence are irrelevant when it comes to whether NPR should accept sponsorship or cable networks should carry the new network. Many news outlets have a bias. What matters is whether Al Jazeera America’s falls within the acceptable boundaries of decency and free speech, and clearly it does. …

We should not be afraid of these many new voices. Democracy does quite well in Europe, Japan and other parts of the world where the news media has long been identified with ideological, party or individual points of view. American news networks such as CNN are present on cable channels in the rest of the world, including, specifically, Qatar. What counts for American democracy is that we uphold our free speech values and let the best ideas win in the marketplace of open debate.

NPR, Edward Schumacher-Matos

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  • LaurenceGlavin

    Sometimes it’s hard to tell whether an underwriting announcement is from NPR our the local station. WBUR and WGBH-FM in Boston run messages by Sam’s Club a unit of Wal*Mart often maligned by the programming at the station; there are messages that SOUND like Wal*Mart promotions, but they may actually be subsidized by the US Postal Service’s “Forever” stamps. Misleading because after the Sun runs out of the hydrogen it needs after billions of years (take that Biblical fundamentalists!) to maintain its current volume, it will become bloated and blow away the Earth. “Forever” stamps will be useless then.