A Lesson from NPR in Effective Listener Alienation

[diversity]  [global warming]  [indigenous]  [sustainability]  [disproportionately affected/impacted]  [XYZs of color]  [under-representation of XYZs of color]  [Latinx]  [undocumented immigrants]  [change/join/have the conversation]  [community of XYZs]  [celebrate]  [global warming] [enslavement] [enslaved person]

Randomly select a number of items from the above woke vocabulary, and you have the makings of a lead to a typical NPR agenda-driven story. Stated differently, it is a rare NPR news story that does not promote an agenda related to or that does not use the above now-overworked words in the lead.

I agree with many of the things that NPR pushes as their agenda. But their methodology, which consists of incessant harping on things everyone realizes using overworked woke buzzwords, is truly repulsive to me. And worse yet is NPR’s turning the groups they support (just about any group not populated by white, cisgender males) into tribal victims and sometimes double tribal victims in all sorts of stories.

A good example is a story they did recently in which they bemoan working woman being thrown out of work by the corona pandemic and naturally suffering disproportionately from the pandemic, and the fact that women (who they and I both think should be able to work) were set up to be victimized by encouraging them to work and then not providing services such as childcare.

If you listen to NPR for a while, you will hear a few stories each hour about how one of their supported groups are disproportionately impacted by the corona pandemic, the resultant downturn in business, and the difficulty in getting vaccinated. Living in Japan, where nobody has yet been vaccinated, and where the general population under 65 will probably not start to be vaccinated until at least June, I find that last concern difficult to relate to.

National differences aside, NPR’s horrendously heavy-handed agenda-pushing takes away from the good things they do to bring listeners solid news coverage. It places an undue (shall I call it a disproportionate?) burden on the general listener that should not have to be suffered, particularly by people who mostly agree with the NPR agenda.

Author: William Lise

A long-time resident in japan, I have been chiefly involved with Japanese-to-English translation and litigation interpreting for decades. I was an electrical engineer in my previous life.