NPR suspended the article's author, Yuri Berliner.


NPR suspended senior editor Yuri Berliner a week later after he wrote an online column accusing it of allowing a liberal bias in its coverage.

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NPR has suspended a senior editor who wrote an article published on an online news site last week that argued the network had “lost America's trust” because of a liberal bias in its coverage, the outlet reported.

Yuri Berliner He was suspended without pay for five days on Friday. NPR reported Tuesday. The revelation came a week after Berliner made the public claim An article The Free Press, an online news publication, said NPR allowed a “liberal slant” to influence its coverage, causing the outlet's audience to steadily lose credibility.

The article reignited criticism that many prominent conservatives have long leveled against NPR and prompted newsroom leadership to implement monthly internal reviews of the network's coverage, NPR reported. Berliner's article angered many of her colleagues and NPR's new chief executive, Catherine Maher, came under repeated attacks from conservatives over her past social media posts.

In a statement to NPR on Monday, Maher disputed Berliner's claims by underscoring NPR's commitment to objective coverage of national issues.

“Everyone in America has the right to free speech as an individual citizen,” Maher said. “NPR's mission and my commitment as its CEO are important: public service, editorial freedom and service to all the American people. NPR is independent, owned by no party and free of commercial interests.”

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NPR's COVID-19 coverage pits Berliner against diversity efforts

Berliner, a veteran business editor who has worked at NPR for 25 years, argued in a Free Press article that “people at every level of NPR are comfortably united in their progressive worldview.”

Although he said NPR has always had a “liberal bent” since he was hired by the outlet, he wrote that it has lost its “open-mindedness” and therefore an “audience that reflects America.”

The Peabody Award-winning journalist highlighted several major news events, including the emergence of Covid-19 and the war in Gaza, as examples of the network's biased coverage. Berliner criticized NPR's diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) policies — reflected in both its newsroom and its coverage — for “making race and identity paramount in every aspect of the workplace.”

“All this reflected a broader movement in the culture of peoples who were bound together by ideology or by virtue of birth,” he wrote.

Yuri Berliner's article sparks conservative attacks on NPR

In response to the article, several prominent conservatives and Republicans, including former President Donald Trump, launched renewed attacks on NPR for what they considered partisan coverage.

Conservative activist Christopher Rufo targeted Maher for messages he posted on social media years before he joined the network. First at a news agency. were in isolated positions A tweet in 2020 that Trump is racist.

On his social media site, Truth Social, Trump reiterated his long-standing advocacy of ending NPR's government funding.

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NPR gives Berliner a formal rebuke

Berliner provided an NPR reporter with a copy of the formal reprimand for review, in which the organization told the editor that he was not authorized to write for other news organizations, which NPR journalists require.

He said he publicly disclosed confidential proprietary information about NPR audience demographics, the outlet reported.

According to NPR's report, leadership said the letter was a “final warning” to Berliner, who will be fired for future violations of NPR's policies. Berliner, a dues-paying member of NPR's newsroom union, told an NPR reporter that he is not appealing the sentence.

A spokeswoman for NPR said Tuesday it declined to comment on Berliner's article or the news of her suspension by USA TODAY.

“NPR does not comment on personal matters, including morals,” the statement said. “We expect all of our employees to comply with NPR policies and procedures, including our editorial staff NPR Ethics Manual.”

NPR staff expressed shock; Places leadership coverage reviews

According to the NPR article, Berliner's article also drew the ire of his colleagues and reporters.

“Newsrooms run on trust,” said NPR political correspondent Daniel Kurtzleben. A post last week On social media site X, he did not mention Berliner by name. “If you go to another outlet and break everyone's trust [expletive] I don't know how you're doing your job right now, on your colleagues (while doing a poor job journalistically).”

Amid the fallout, NPR's chief news executive Edith Chapin announced to the newsroom Monday afternoon that executive editor Eva Rodriguez will lead monthly meetings to review coverage, NPR reported.

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In an interview with NPR, Berliner expressed no regrets about publishing the article and said she had tried several times to make news leaders aware of her concerns about NPR's coverage.

“I love NPR and feel like it's a national foundation,” Berliner says. “We have great journalists. If they speak their mind and do the best journalism they can, it will be a very interesting and fulfilling organization for our listeners.”

Eric Lagatta covers breaking and trending news for USA TODAY. Reach him at [email protected]

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