Three Cheers For NPR’s Listener Interactivity

As NPR’s first news program, All Things Considered is also of its most well-known and highest-rated programs. Another show that fits into the latter category? NPR’s Morning Edition. Both cover news stories, but both cover them fairly differently.

While Morning Edition has stories that are all pretty long in length, All Things Considered often has shorter news pieces. Both of these programs helped to create a news station that is very different from others. Besides NPR being publically funded, it is also partially run by the public. This doesn’t mean that any random listener can go into the NPR studio and run a news program. It means that the station often opens the listen line for people to call in and voice their opinion and offer up additional facts to news stories the station is covering.

Interactivity is very important with any form of media, but not many excel in the area. With radio, the main form of interactivity is having listeners call in to request a song, make a news suggest, offer advice or comment on a topic the radio host is talking about. NPR is very good at this. Not only do the radio hosts often allow their audience to call in, but the host usually has an actual conversation with the caller.

On many radio stations, listeners will call in, give their input and then the phone call is over. It is completely one-sided and not very interactive or collaborative. On NPR, an actual conversation and, sometimes, debate ensues when an audience member calls in to the radio station.

As a public radio station, NPR truly does run for the public, especially by including the public in its on-air conversations. Not every news story is worth opening to listeners, but many of the larger stories are opened up for discussion. This sort of collaboration helps to grow interactivity, increase positive public opinion of the station and to really inform the public of all sides of stories.

What do you think about the different news programs on NPR? How often do you listen to NPR and do you ever call in to join the on-air conversations? Let me know in the comments below!

Twitter: @TheRachaelE

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