Overview: Outside work
NPR offers us the chance to reach huge audiences on the radio and on the Web. In exchange, as we said above, we agree to not compete with NPR and to make it the primary outlet for the journalism we do.
NPR also encourages us to take advantage of other opportunities – so long as they do not interfere or conflict with the work we do for the company. NPR journalists write books, magazine pieces and newspaper articles. We appear on panels and give speeches. Television discussion shows value our expertise. Universities ask us to teach and lecture. These are good things. They offer us the chance to stretch, to reflect on our work and to broaden the reach of our journalism.
But outside work can also present significant challenges. It places additional demands on our time, which is often precious. It requires working with organizations that have different goals and standards than NPR does. And it can sometimes present entanglements that conflict with our journalistic independence.
So we must be selective about these opportunities and vigilant about the challenges they pose. We must seek permission in writing from our supervisors for all outside freelance and journalistic work, whether paid or volunteered, from written articles to speaking appearances. (Details on seeking approval for outside work are below.) As we expressed at the outset of this handbook, keep in mind that we don’t want our managers to be confronted with any rude surprises.
October 17, 2011