These situations require special permission.
A few special circumstances that require specific address:
- Speaking agencies and agents: NPR journalists who enlist the services of agencies or agents to obtain paid speaking engagements or other opportunities must go through all the steps described above — like any other NPR staffer — before accepting any such offers.
- Partisan events: We avoid appearances that call into question our impartiality, including situations where our appearance may appear to endorse the partisan agenda of a group or organization. This might include, for example, participating in political debates or forums sponsored by groups that advocate particular perspectives on issues NPR covers.
- Charitable fundraisers: NPR journalists are frequently asked to speak or appear at charitable events. We typically turn down these requests. Even when a cause is charitable, it may still pose a conflict, or the organization might have political aims at odds with our commitment to impartiality.
- Nonfiction writing for books or films: Any NPR journalist intending to write a non-fiction book or TV or movie script or other guiding documents for non-radio productions based in whole or substantial part on assignments they did for NPR must notify NPR in writing of such plans before entering into any agreement with respect to that work. NPR will respond as soon as possible as to whether it has any objections to the project.
- Leaves of absence: While employed by NPR, including during leaves of absence, we do not perform work for those NPR covers, including ghostwriting or co-authoring materials or reports, making speaking appearances, or offering advice or consulting services. This extends both to private individuals and organizations we cover and to organizations and agencies principally funded by the government.
- Public relations: In general, we do not engage in public relations work, paid or unpaid. Supervisors may grant exceptions for certain volunteer, nonprofit and nonpartisan activities, such as participating in the work of an institution of worship, or a professional or charitable organization, especially if the journalist is a member of the organization in question and the work would not conflict with NPR’s journalism.
- Endorsements: Just as we generally avoid engaging in p.r. work, we also refrain from marketing for books, movies, performances or other products that are not our own. This means that while we may offer reviews or praise for products we’ve encountered, we usually avoid offering promotional endorsements or blurbs, or serving as spokespersons. Supervisors may grant exceptions for endorsements that don’t undermine or conflict with our work, meaning we have no financial interest in the endorsement and it doesn’t present a conflict with any subject we cover. If we are granted such an exception, it bears stating that we read the book before commenting on it.
- Promotional events: We avoid appearances at private industry or corporate functions, especially in settings where our appearance may be used to market a company’s services or products. Supervisors may grant exceptions for appearances intended to promote NPR’s journalism, promotions for works by NPR journalists (e.g. book tours), or promotions for those volunteer, nonprofit and nonpartisan organizations in which we claim membership — often, for example, organizations that promote and support journalistic endeavors.
October 17, 2011