Amidst daily talk about the death of news and good reporting and the demise of print newspapers being a threat to democracy as we know it NPR is thriving. WaPo is reporting that the cumulative audience for NPR‘s daily news programs hit 20.9 million people a week last year, which is a 9 percent increase over the previous year.
Surprised? Probably you shouldn’t be (our tour through cable-land last week certainly gave us an even greater appreciation). We have an soon-to-be-posted interview with new NPR CEO Vivian Schiller and during our conversation she talked a lot about local being the big play at NPR as well as the audiences devotion to the brand. And certainly as local and international reporting are increasingly cut as a result of the recession, NPR and its member stations, along with its 38 bureaus around the world (more than CNN) are well-positioned to step in and fill in the gap. And the numbers are definitely interesting.