Guidance On Podcast ‘Back Announces’

Chris Turpin, V.P. for news programming and operations, writes:

As podcasts grow in number and popularity we are talking about them more often in our news programs.  We are also fielding more and more questions from news staff and Member stations about our policies for referring to podcasts on air.  To that end, we want to establish some common standards, especially for language in back announces. Our hope is to establish basic principles that are easy to understand and allow plenty of flexibility for creativity.  These guidelines apply to all podcasts, whether produced by NPR or by other entities.

– No Call to Action:We won’t tell people to actively download a podcast or where to find them. No mentions of, iTunes, Stitcher, NPR One, etc.


“That’s Linda Holmes of NPR’s Pop Culture Happy Hour podcast and our blogger on the same subject and Bob Mondello, NPR’s film critic. Thanks so much.


“OK, everyone. You can download Alt.Latino from iTunes and, of course, via the NPR One app.

– Informational, not Promotional: When referring to podcasts, and the people who host, produce, or contribute to them, we will mention the name of the podcast but not in a way that explicitly endorses it.  References should not specifically promote the content of the podcast (e.g.,  “This week, the Politics Podcast team digs into delegate math.”) If you feel a podcast title needs explaining (e.g. Hidden Brain), some additional language can be added (e.g., “That’s Shankar Vedantam, he hosts a podcast that explores the unseen patterns of human behavior. It’s called, Hidden Brain” ). Just to repeat: Be creative in how you back announce podcasts, but please avoid outright promotion.

– No NPR One: For now, NPR One will not be promoted on the air.

There will be exceptions to these rules, but when in doubt let these principles be your guide.

If you have specific practical questions the Holmes Brothers or Mark Memmott are great places to go for answers.

And, as always, I’m happy to discuss any aspect of this decision.

(“Memmos;” March 16, 2016)

March 16, 2016

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