The audience for NPR’s daily news programs, including “Morning Edition”
and “All Things Considered,” reached a record last year, driven by
widespread interest in the presidential election, and the general
decline of radio news elsewhere. Washington-based NPR will release new
figures to its stations today showing that the cumulative audience for
its daily news programs hit 20.9 million a week, a 9 percent increase
over the previous year.
The weekly audience for all the programming fed by Washington-based
NPR — including talk shows and music — also reached a record last
year, with 23.6 million people tuning in each week, an 8.7 percent
increase over 2007.
While almost every news organization saw its audience spike during
the political campaign last year, NPR’s surge continues a trend that
goes back to at least the fall of 2000, when the organization began
aggregating audience data from hundreds of affiliated public stations
across the country. NPR saw a big audience increase after the terrorist
attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and has added listeners since. Its audience
has grown 47 percent since 2000, according to figures from Arbitron.
You know, I rail on this one a lot because it’s the one I know enough about to counter easily, but the utter dishonesty of the conventional wisdom on this particular issue makes me wonder how many other accepted “realities” in various industries are complete bullshit.