The Voice of National Public Radio

Former NPR journalism fellow Brian Montopoli writes an interesting piece in Washington Monthly about the Voice of NPR:
The Voice is tough to describe, but you know it when you hear it: It's serious, carefully modulated, genially authoritative. It rings with unspoken knowledge of good wine and The New York Times Book Review.
In short, it's a voice that mimics the majority demographic of NPR's 20 million listeners: white, affluent, passively liberal babyboomers. No problem if you fit the demographic, but tough luck if you don't. Even the diversity on NPR is molded to conform with The Voice:
In an interview with the Philadelphia City Paper, Tavis Smiley, the former host of Black Entertainment Television's "BET Tonight" and new host of "The Tavis Smiley Show," pointed out that at NPR, "I have to be authentically black, but not too black." And his show bears that out: It's a good program about black topics that follows the same respectful, all- sides-of-the-issue formula of all the other good, respected programs that came before it.

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