How does it affect your work for NPR?
When considering an outside opportunity, ask how it might interfere with your work and whether it might damage your credibility or that of NPR. We avoid conflicts of interest — it probably would not be appropriate, for example, for an NPR news journalist to be paid to speak by a corporation or group that NPR covers. And we refrain from appearing on television discussion shows where the format is designed to produce heated, highly political debates. We go on TV to talk about our reporting and the news of the day, not to offer opinions (with the obvious exceptions of our music, arts and books critics — and, if any are hired, news commentators). If asked to offer opinions when on the air, we rely on our reporting and offer context — citing, for example, what public opinion polls signal about how an issue is playing rather than our personal opinions.
We let our reporting, not our personal opinions, guide our actions and comments in all types of public settings, from live appearances on TV to postings on social media sites.
October 17, 2011