Elizabeth Jensen

Each week brings a steady stream of emails requesting that NPR devote more coverage to third party presidential candidates Gary Johnson, the Libertarian Party nominee, and Jill Stein, the Green Party nominee.

NPR is making an announcement today that is sure to upset a loyal core of its audience, those who comment online at NPR.org (including those who comment on this blog). As of Aug. 23, online comments, a feature of the site since 2008, will be disabled.

As the magnitude of the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando, Fla., began to emerge Sunday morning, NPR's newsroom quickly mobilized; by 6 a.m. ET, initial plans were taking shape. Later in the morning, the newsroom moved into the live reporting known as "special coverage" for those stations that chose to air it.

As listeners are hearing today on Morning Edition, longtime sports commentator Frank Deford, a Wednesday morning fixture on NPR for more than three decades, is going to appear less frequently on NPR in the future.

Deford, who has been delivering his Sweetness and Light commentary weekly since 1980 (except for a two-year hiatus in 1989–90), will now be heard on the first Wednesday of the month. Varied new commentators—there's no set roster—will fill the sports slot the other weeks.

Following the Paris terrorist attacks on the evening of Nov. 13, my office heard from Wyoming listener Patrick D. Sheehy, who wrote, "Out here two time zones away from Washington DC...I am curious what level of news does it take to get NPR out of package mode and into special report mode." NPR's All Things Considered was still running a prerecorded piece about Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, with only a brief Paris update, he wrote, adding, "I'm getting most of my news from a friend texting me from the Netherlands."

This office fields listener and reader concerns about a wide range of issues, but, in the seven months I have been on the job, NPR's coverage of the environment and climate change has been among the top topics. It is clear that many in the audience expect NPR to be a leader covering climate news. And NPR should lead; as one of the nation's largest news sources it is only fitting that it devote serious time and attention to one of the most important and controversial issues of our day.

In my first post on this topic, I highlighted some of the concerns that NPR audience members have raised about the network's on-air and online coverage of climate change and the environment. This follow-up post gives my own views and talks about a couple potentially very positive new NPR initiatives.

The plaintive email came into my office Wednesday night from Joseph Suste of Medford, Ore. In total, it read: "Why isn't NPR covering the Bernie Sanders campaign?"

My even shorter answer? NPR is (although Suste has lots of company among listeners who believe the coverage is missing). But other listener questions need a fuller answer.

A Morning Edition report on Monday with the headline "Congress May Be Forced To Intervene Again On Mammogram Recommendations" drew some sharp rebukes, many of them from physicians who expressed deep concern over missing context.

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