NPR senior editor Uri Berliner resigns, slams new CEO

NPR senior editor Uri Berliner resigns, slams new CEO

Uri Berliner, a long-time senior editor at National Public Radio (NPR), has announced his resignation from the network, just over a week after he publicly accused NPR of espousing left-wing bias. He stated that NPR has “lost America’s trust.”

In an essay published by The Free Press, Berliner expressed his dismay at NPR. It didn’t go over well with the company’s new CEO, Katherine Maher. Maher, who has served as NPR’s chief executive for less than a month, condemned Berliner’s assessment as “deeply simplistic,” “profoundly disrespectful, hurtful, and demeaning.”

Berliner, who has worked at NPR for 25 years, shared his resignation letter to NPR CEO Katherine Maher on X (formerly Twitter) on Wednesday.

In the letter, Berliner expressed his respect for the integrity of his colleagues and his desire for NPR to thrive and continue producing important journalism. However, he stated that he could not work in a newsroom where he felt disparaged by a new CEO whose divisive views, he believes, confirm the problems he cited in his Free Press essay.

“I am resigning from NPR, a great American institution where I have worked for 25 years. I don’t support calls to defund NPR. I respect the integrity of my colleagues and wish for NPR to thrive and do important journalism. But I cannot work in a newsroom where I am disparaged by a new CEO whose divisive views confirm the very problems at NPR I cite in my Free Press essay,” he wrote on X.

Berliner’s critique, which touched on various topics including NPR’s coverage of former President Donald Trump, COVID-19, and transgender issues, sparked a heated debate and drew criticism from both Maher and some of his colleagues.

On Tuesday, it was reported that Berliner had been suspended without pay for five days for failing to follow NPR’s rules regarding outside work and publicly releasing proprietary information about audience demographics.

The controversy escalated when old tweets from Maher, displaying her personal views in favor of liberal causes, resurfaced. Journalist Christopher Rufo unearthed numerous posts from Maher’s X profile.

In response to the backlash, Maher released a statement emphasizing NPR’s commitment to public service, editorial independence, and serving all of the American public, regardless of her personal opinions. NPR also stressed that the CEO is not involved in editorial decisions.

Berliner’s resignation comes amidst a divided newsroom, with some acknowledging the validity of his critique and others no longer willing to work with him. NPR’s chief news executive, Edith Chapin, has announced that Executive Editor Eva Rodriguez will lead monthly coverage review meetings in an effort to address the concerns raised by Berliner and others.

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