I’ve been to NPR’s headquarters in DC three times this year. Once to meet politely; Once to broadcast our own radio show with Josh Fox, the director of the Gasland Documentaries, on the real dangers of fracking (to show them the story they’re missing, in essence); and the last time I brought a mob - a chanting, shouting mob of Beyond Extreme Energy protesters on the streets, while, simultaneously, thousands of you were on the phones calling your local affiliates.
NPR clearly did not get the message and has ignored our demands to stop airing the pro-fracking ads. To add insult to injury, they did the one thing they could to make their news coverage really truly worse: They fired their entire climate and environment reporting team, and replaced them with one part-time journalist.
I’m convinced that we can still save NPR from the Extreme Energy industry, and make public radio a force for real reporting on climate change and fracking. But to do it, we need to get local. Can you chip in so we can take our NPR campaign on the road, and target their largest affiliates from Boston to the Bay Area?
Starting in January, we want to bring our NPR campaign to the biggest affiliates in the country. Stations like KQED in the Bay area, WNYC in New York, and WGBH in Boston. Even though thousands of us are demanding change, NPR still ignores us because we’re spread out over so many states and cities. Steve Inskeep might not care if he looses a few hundred listeners in New England, or a few thousand in California. But with local stations, we are a force to be reckoned with.
This local organizing can work. We know because we’ve already seen the impact. When hundreds of us called our local NPR affiliates last November, Environmental Action heard from dozens of station managers, producers and reporters. Some of them agreed with us, some of them just wanted us to stop calling them. But they all noticed.
So starting in a few weeks, we want to bring our whole event - the live radio show, the webcast, the thousands of calls, and YOU - to the front doorstep of the nation’s biggest NPR affiliates. We’ll ask them to pick a side by telling NPR that they must reject sponsorship from extreme energy producers like American Natural Gas Alliance, or we’ll stop listening and donating to NPR. If we can get even one of these big affiliates to send that message to NPR headquarters, it will go a long way towards changing their minds.
But taking all our radio gear, computers and other equipment on the road will cost money. So I’m asking you to chip in now, before we start the tour, so we can plan our first few events. Last April, we were able to finance a show with Josh Fox and other great guests for about $2,000. If we can raise that in the next week, we should be able to do it again in at least two major cities this Winter.
NPR might be able to tune out the news they don’t like. But the local stations can’t afford to ignore us.
Thanks again for speaking out for frack-free airwaves,
Drew Hudson, Director, and the team at Environmental Action