The economic crisis is affecting NPR, naturally, and one of their responses has been to cancel two of their shows, News & Notes included. I believe the story is that the show doesn’t bring in enough money in donations and has low ratings. I would be very interested in seeing the ratings breakdown of all NPR-supported shows to see if N&N is really at the bottom. I mean, it just seems like a kick in the teeth — the only program that focuses on Black issues and now it will be off the air.
It’s especially interesting in light of what I had to say almost a year ago about why I don’t send donation dollars to NPR. News & Notes is great, but I feel like NPR news in general feels really white-washed to me. Others spoke up, saying they feel the same way. And if black people’s impression of NPR mainly comes from the two flagship shows, they won’t necessarily stick around to find out that News & Notes exists. And this doesn’t even mention the lack of coverage and perspectives for other POC.
My only hope right now is that NPR gets smart and brings Farai and the other talented N&N team into the fold for Morning Edition and All Things Considered. I have always wanted a deeper, less white-washed approach for these two shows. If the one show dedicated to the Black community is going away, that means it’s time to shove NPR into the 21st century and get them to cover issues of various POC communities more.
If that’s not going to happen, then I hope that someone decides to back a podcast, or maybe a public radio show on Pacifica. There has to be a life after News & Notes. It’s too good a resource to just let lapse.