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Overview: Interacting with funders #

If the [business and editorial] sides of a news-providing organization are really working at cross purposes, the journalism tends to be on the side that is corrupted.

- Bill Kovach and Tom Rosenstiel, The Elements of Journalism

Our journalism is made possible by a diverse coalition of funding sources, including donations from members of the public, grants from foundations and government agencies, and paid sponsorships and underwriting. While we value all who support our work, those who fund us do so in the knowledge that our journalism serves only the public. We believe our strength as a business is premised solely on high-quality, independent journalism in the public interest. All NPR employees – journalists as well as sponsorship, communications and development staff – are committed first and foremost to that service.

At NPR, the journalists – including senior news managers – have full and final authority over all journalistic decisions. We work with all other divisions of the company towards the goal of supporting and protecting our journalism. This means we communicate with our sponsorship and development departments to identify areas where we hope to expand our reporting. It also means we may take part in promotional activities or events such as coordinated fund drives, listener support spots and public radio audience-building initiatives.

But we observe a clear boundary line: NPR journalists interact with funders only to further our editorial goals, not to serve the agendas of those who support us.