On NPR's Coverage Of Bernie Sanders

Sep 5, 2015

We’ve heard from many listeners recently regarding NPR’s coverage of Bernie Sanders. In particular, many felt that Mara Liasson’s analysis last Wednesday during All Things Considered regarding a possible Joe Biden bid for president missed the mark.

We shared these concerns directly with our colleagues at NPR, who shared the following with us: 

The reference in that conversation to Clinton “basically running against herself” was intended to mean that her campaign is being buffeted in large part by issues related to things she’s done – including using a private email server – rather than by attacks from other campaigns. We understand and apologize that the inference was not clear to some listeners. We did not intend to suggest that Clinton is not facing competition from Sen. Sanders. We also agree that a mention of the challenge posed by the Sanders campaign would have been appropriate and helpful to include.

This is not the first time that listeners have questioned NPR’s coverage of Sanders’ bid for president. Elizabeth Jensen, NPR’s ombudsman, catalogs the critiques in an August 7 article at NPR.org.

Here is a selection of Sanders coverage on NPR and NPR.org:

Sanders Gaining on Clinton. 2008 All Over Again?
Exactly What Kind Of Socialist Is Bernie Sanders?
Bernie Sanders And The Size And Wisdom Of Crowds
2016’s Campaign War Chests Are Just Jewelry Boxes Next To The Super PACS
Kudos To Sanders, With A Wink To Clinton, Too
Sanders Among The Least Wealthy Presidential Candidates
Bernie Sanders Just Drew A Huge Crowd. How Does It Measure Up?
Small Donors Fueled Sanders’ $15 Million Fundraising Haul
Sanders: ‘My Goal Right Now Is To Win This Election’
Bernie Sanders Walks A Fine Line On Gun Control
This Quirky New Hampshire Law Might Keep Bernie Sanders Off The Ballot
Leaving Brooklyn, Bernie Sanders Found Home In Vermont
Bernie Sanders ‘Stunned’ By Large Crowds Showing Up For Him
Bernie Sanders: ‘We Are The Underdog’
Presidential Hopeful Bernie Sanders To Face Test In New Hampshire

Locally, VPR has been covering Bernie Sanders' run since the beginning and has been collecting all of our coverage on a special section of our website.

We're also working on a documentary-style program about Sanders called "Becoming Bernie" that will air in early October.

As independent news organizations, VPR and NPR adhere to carefully developed codes of journalistic ethics. We strive to provide comprehensive and in-depth news and analysis that offers multiple perspectives on an issue. The goal, as always, is to be fair and objective in covering the news of the day.

We’ll continue to keep a close ear on coverage of the 2016 election, and we encourage you to stay tuned and continue to share feedback with both VPR and NPR. You can share your feedback with VPR and directly with NPR.