Sunday, March 19, 2017

3.61 of 48: KNAU/National Public Radio

When Jacki and I sat down and planned out this project, we knew that things may come up that felt urgent, that would throw our schedule into disarray (let’s be honest here, every day it’s something new and our heads are spinning a bit). We are already working on April (it’s going to be a doozy) and May is set as well. So we decided to do a mid-month post to support a group about which both of us feel strongly. Jacki's on a plane back from Hawaii, and it’s a Sunday, so instead of doing our usual “interview” with the organization’s leadership, I am going to pull some information from their Facebook page and share some of my personal love for KNAU and NPR!

So why urgent? The free press is being targeted by the administration (google it, you’ll find hundreds of articles explaining why the administration's treatment of press is ominous). The graphic to the left has been widely circulated to show how the different outlets lean and which possess the most and least bias. I’m sure everyone could pick a bone or two of contention here, but we feel that overall it’s a good guide to help steer us away from Fake News. On this chart, you will see NPR straight down that middle line of impartiality.

We also have been reading that NPR is one of many agencies slated for cuts in the Federal budget. I can’t even get into the idiocy of this budget because you’ll see me go into a rage spiral (it ain't pretty), so I’m just going to point you to this article to learn more:

With impeccable timing and very high ratings, KNAU just started their Spring Pledge Drive Lite. Jacki and I (thanks to a suggestion from our friend Erin Strout, an editor for Runner's World and all around amazing human) feel that all signs point to featuring KNAU/NPR sooner rather than later!

What does NPR, specifically our local affiliate KNAU, mean to me? The Zellers went partial hippie when we moved to our new house four years ago, and chose not to install cable TV in our home. I was a junkie of the 24-hour news cycle, and as parents we decided we needed to be done with the constant hum in the background. This is not to say we don’t binge on Netflix and get plenty of screen time; our choices are just more deliberate now. One thing we always choose is to turn on NPR as soon as our feet hit the kitchen floor and we start up the coffeemaker. My kids sing along to the Morning Edition song ("dooo do do do do do do do…") and my friends Steve Inskeep, Rachel Martin and David Greene tell me in a rational and calm manner what idiocy has occurred overnight. It’s like they are coming through the speaker every morning telling me to take a deep breath, it’s not what you wanted to hear, but we are going to say it in the most soothing tones possible so you don’t throw yourself off of your deck. “Have a nice day, Cristy! The world is falling apart, but we are here for you!”

I have several friends and acquaintances who work for KNAU and hearing their voices as they report the local news (one of the few places we can actually GET local news in our small town) is like having my coffee with friends as the sun comes up. Other than the news, our family also enjoys so many of the other shows… Prairie Home Companion (Chris Thile has breathed new life into the music on this show!), Fresh Air, replays of old Car Talk episodes… just to name a few. years YYMy sister, Sara, has also worked with WNYC on a podcast, “Lies,” and I have been impressed by the quality of programming come from that affiliate in particular.

So, yeah yeah you get it. I’m a big fan of NPR and we need to do everything we can to keep them on the air - it’s more important than ever!

Here's what we can do to help:
  • Make a contribution online by clicking the "donate" button on the KNAU Facebook page. (it takes less than 5 minutes to donate. Go ahead and "Like" their page if you haven't already! 
  • Make a contribution by going to
  • Change your Facebook profile picture to the KNAU logo (see FB page to download it) 
  • Go online to and sign the petition to save our NPR stations 
  • Share this 48 months post!!! Wherever your friends live, this is something easy that we all can do! 
The importance of a free press in a democracy cannot be overstated. It was critical enough to our founding fathers to spell it out specifically in the First Amendment. As citizens, regardless of our political leanings, we have an obligation to demand that our government (at all levels) uphold these principles. Help us say a big fat NO to Fake News, and support your NPR affiliate… today!


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