If there was any doubt National Public Radio (NPR) has a liberal bias their new ethics policy update allowing its reporters to take part in demonstrations and rallies makes it crystal clear.
The ethics policy which was last updated in 2010-2011 expressly states journalists may participate in activities that advocate for “the freedom and dignity of human beings” on both social media and in real life and eliminates a blanket prohibition from participating in “marches, rallies and public events,” as well as vague language that directed NPR journalists to avoid personally advocating for “controversial” or “polarizing” issues, according to NPR public editor Kelly McBride.
NPR ethics policy update: Journalists can now participate in activities that advocate for “freedom and dignity of human beings” on social media and in real life. https://t.co/oLe7PSffJj pic.twitter.com/vcLmRhyHgW
— kellymcb (@kellymcb) July 29, 2021
The new NPR policy reads, “NPR editorial staff may express support for democratic, civic values that are core to NPR’s work, such as, but not limited to: the freedom and dignity of human beings, the rights of a free and independent press, the right to thrive in society without facing discrimination on the basis of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual identity, disability, or religion.”
This means participating in a Black Lives Matter or a Gay Pride parade is okay as long as the reporter is not covering the event and their editor has approved it.
But there are limits, like supporting a specific piece of legislation or a political candidate which are still not permitted.
If there was a line between journalism and advocacy at NPR, it has now been crossed.