More Changes at NPR As Audie Cornish Leaves

From the Poynter Report With Tom Jones about Audie Cornish leaving NPR:

Audie Cornish, host of NPR’s “All Things Considered,” announced that she is leaving NPR. She posted a thread on Twitter saying she is joining “The Great Resignation” — meaning she is stepping away from her job.

She tweeted that she loves her job and the listeners, but that she is ready to “stretch my wings and try something new.” She also tweeted, “it’s a risk. and that’s ok. I look forward to new opportunities and new ways to tell stories. and to keep finding ways to make space and center the voices of those who have been traditionally left out! Our conversation isn’t over. Stay tuned as we say in radio”

Cornish is the latest high-profile person of color to leave NPR in the recent past. Noel King left as host of “Morning Edition” last month to join Vox Media. Weekend host Lulu Garcia-Navarro left to join The New York Times. And Joshua Johnson left “1A” in late 2019 to become a host at MSNBC.

In a lengthy Twitter thread Johnson said, “I share the concerns over diverse hosts leaving public media, and the challenges of recruiting a workforce that reflects America.”

However, he went on to say, “NPR is better for having an inclusive workforce. But it would be far worse if that workforce thought it had nowhere to go except @NPR. Reaching our potential requires new avenues for growth and possibility. There’s a huge difference between feeling safe, and feeling stuck.”

He also pointed out that those who have left NPR have gone on to really good jobs — MSNBC, The New York Times, Vox, etc. He wrote, “We can all work to strengthen the pipelines that foster diverse talent. We can work… or we can worry. But each will impede the other. So maybe there’s more work to do. Perhaps another way we can try. Or maybe we just need to keep at it and give our efforts time to bear witness.

Also see a Washington Post story by Paul Farhi an Elahe Izadi headlined “NPR is losing some of its Black and Latino hosts. Colleagues see a larger crisis.” The opening grafs:

In recent years, NPR has taken pride in its efforts to diversify its ranks of on-air hosts, with the hiring of many Black and Latino journalists to lead its signature news programs, including voices such as Lourdes Garcia-Navarro, Noel King, Michele Norris and Audie Cornish.

But now the public-radio giant is contending with an exodus of the very same talent.

On Tuesday, it was Cornish, the co-host since 2012 of NPR’s daily newsmagazine, “All Things Considered,” who announced she would be leaving at the end of the week, destination unspecified. “I have never considered the host chair a tenured position,” she said, though many of her predecessors have enjoyed decades-long runs in the job. “It’s time for me to try my hand at new journalism projects and embark on new adventures.”

Other prominent on-air personalities of color to depart NPR’s airwaves recently include “Weekend Edition Sunday” host Garcia-Navarro, who left in Septemberto host a New York Times podcast; “Morning Edition” host King, who left in November for Vox Media; and former “1A” host Joshua Johnson, who joined MSNBC.

In addition, NPR has in recent months lost the stars of two weekly programs and podcasts — Maddie Sofia (who hosted the science program “Short Wave”) and Shereen Marisol Meraji of “Code Switch,” which discusses race in America.

Some see a pattern — and a problem. Cornish’s announcement, in particular, unleashed a public airing of grievances from within NPR about its treatment of minority journalists.

“If NPR doesn’t see this as a crisis, I don’t know what it’ll take,” tweeted Ari Shapiro, Cornish’s “All Things Considered” co-host. He wrote that the organization was “hemorrhaging hosts from marginalized backgrounds.”…

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