NPR axes Christian radio programs
Pete Chagnon - OneNewsNow - 4/30/2009 8:30:00 AM
A shocking decision has been handed down by the National Public Radio board.
In 1985, National Public Radio (NPR) adopted a policy stating that member stations had to provide "nonsectarian, non-political, noncommercial" educational programming. But in February 2009, the wording was changed to say: "NPR Member Stations shall provide ONLY [emphasis added] nonsectarian, non-political, noncommercial educational content on all broadcast channel(s) and related media distribution platforms such as member partners that use the NPR member brands."
The rule, which takes effect May 1, means that any NPR stations carrying religious programming must cease and desist that programming as of that date. In explaining its decision in a similar matter, PBS -- another federally funded media outlet -- says it "places a high value on presenting diverse perspectives, as opposed to rigidly adhering to any single political or religious point of view." Allowing such programming, it continues, "would cause the public's trust in PBS to erode, along with the value of the brand."
David McNabb is the host of "Christian Corner" on KJZA (in Williams, Arizona), which is a partner station with KJZZ in Phoenix. His and several other religious programs featured on the NPR member station will be axed effective tomorrow.
"The change is labeling any Christian content as sectarian and, therefore, not to be used on NPR," he explains. "As part of their mission statement, one of the things that they are not is they are not sectarian. But up until now they haven't defined sectarian as having religious content...and so that's the change."
McNabb's program had a half-hour weekend slot and was bringing in $300 per month in revenue. The other religious programming was bringing in revenue as well and actually out-performing other weekend "nonsectarian programming."
The change in NPR policy affects all NPR affiliates in the United States.