Following the lead of NPR and some of its larger member stations, Blue Ridge Public Radio is conducting a study examining the diversity of the individuals featured in original stories produced by the station’s news team. The study will look at sources by race/ethnicity, gender, and geographic location.
The study is being done by UNC Asheville junior Anitra Griffin, a computer science and new media double major. She will present it at the African Americans in Western North Carolina and Southern Appalachian Conference at UNC Asheville on October 18th. The study will analyze original stories produced by the BPR news team from May 2018 to May 2019, as well as the guests during the full run of BPR’s two podcasts, The Waters and Harvey Show and Going Deep: Sports in the 21st Century.
“We need to accurately represent our region in our news coverage,” says BPR news director Matt Bush. “This analysis will help us with that, and show us where we are doing well, and where we need to improve. We also think this is vital to make this study public. We believe in transparency in those we cover, and it’s only right that we seek the same when focusing on ourselves. We’re one of the smaller NPR member stations to do a study and make it public, and we hope our listeners and our region hold us to our promise to do better.” The study will be featured on the BPR website in the days following its presentation at the conference.
Blue Ridge Public Radio is the NPR member station for Western North Carolina. Its two channels, BPR Classic and BPR News, broadcast over 19 different frequencies to 17 counties in Western North Carolina and North Georgia. The station is a community licensee and is governed by a board of directors made up of community members.