Day 38: Celebrate NPR’s Birthday!

Support Public Radio!

DAY 38 ACTION: Celebrate NPR. Tune in today and donate if you can!
NPR’s Nina Totenburg interviewing President Barack Obama on his Supreme Court justice pick in 2016. Credit: NPR/Ariel Zambelich

Celebrate the value of public radio.

In the late 1940s, the Federal Communications Commission set aside the lower end of the FM band for noncommercial, educational use. That’s why even today, most NPR stations are found in the 88-93 range on your dial.

In 1967, President Johnson signed the Public Broadcasting Act, which created the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. CPB brought us such classics as Sesame Street, NOVA, and the MacNeil Lehrer Report (today’s News Hour).

On February 26, 1970, 90 radio stations banded together and incorporated National Public Radio, to work together to bring high-quality journalism and educational programming to radio. NPR went live the following year, starting with Senate hearings on Vietnam. 

NPR journalists break stories like the Anita Hill accusations against then Judge Clarence Thomas. They also get us out of bed in the morning, and make us laugh, think and cry. (We appreciated it when Steve Inskeep admitted he has to turn the volume down on StoryCorps for fear he will cry on air.) Many reporters feel like old friends, which may be why NPR was the first news many of us returned to after the election.

NPR needs us as much as we need it. The member stations rely on government funding, and on contributions from listeners like us, to keep the news coming over the airwaves.

On Day 22, we talked about the importance of a free press to a functioning democracy. Today let’s celebrate one outlet, National Public Radio and its contribution to solid journalism, whether it reports on national politics or community events.

Today’s Action: Tune in to your favorite NPR affiliate, or download an NPR podcast. Then, support public radio!


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