Kelly McBride

Kelly McBride is a writer, teacher and one of the country's leading voices on media ethics. Since 2002, she has been on the faculty of The Poynter Institute, a global nonprofit dedicated to excellence in journalism, where she now serves as its senior vice president. She is also the chair of the Craig Newmark Center for Ethics and Leadership at Poynter, which advances the quality of journalism and improves fact-based expression by training journalists and working with news organizations to hone and adopt meaningful and transparent ethics practices. Under McBride's leadership, the center serves as the journalism industry's ombudsman — a place where journalists, ethicists and citizens convene to elevate American discourse and battle disinformation and bias.

McBride was appointed as NPR's Public Editor in April 2020 as the result of a new partnership between NPR and Poynter. McBride's role as NPR's Public Editor is supported by researchers and editors from both organizations, significantly expanding the public editor's ability to respond to audience concerns and suggestions.

On the first Sunday of 2021, journalists in two competing Washington newsrooms were listening to a leaked recording of President Donald Trump demanding that Georgia officials find him more votes and change the outcome of their election last November.

To some consumers, NPR is the sane alternative to partisan shouting on cable news. For others, NPR is lulling its audience to sleep with reassuring false equivalence.

Listeners have long told NPR that they find it appealing because of its approach to news as a story to be told, and the meaning of that story to be discovered. But times change, and there are signs that for NPR (and many other American newsrooms), that philosophy now repels some consumers who are driven to distraction by the lack of outrage.

When an ammonium nitrate explosion damaged half of Beirut last week, NPR's Lebanon correspondent Ruth Sherlock was in England, having recently returned to work from maternity leave, but unable to travel to her post because of the pandemic. Less than a mile from the explosion, freelance journalist Nada Homsi, who has been working with NPR, was in her apartment.