National Public Radio

n.
a nationwide network of nonprofit radio stations supported in part by U.S. government funds distributed by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, often affiliated with a public television station or educational institution. Abbr.: NPR

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▪ American organization
      the public radio network of the United States. Based in Washington, D.C., NPR offers a broad range of high-quality news and cultural programming to local public radio stations.

      The 1967 Public Broadcasting Act created the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), which in 1970 established NPR to provide programming to the nation's noncommercial and educational radio stations, most of them situated at the low end of the FM radio dial. NPR broadcast its first program—live coverage of U.S. Senate deliberations on the Vietnam War—on April 19, 1971. Two weeks later NPR's daily evening news program All Things Considered was first broadcast; in 1979 it was joined by Morning Edition. During the early 1980s NPR broadcast original plays and adaptations of classic novels, jazz concerts and festivals, and classical music. Confronted with a $7 million debt in 1983, however, NPR abandoned virtually all of its non-news programming. A financial restructuring in 1983 resulted in CPB grants going directly to NPR member stations, which used the money to pay for network programs. By 1995 foundation, corporate, and individual gifts and grants provided essential funding for NPR; only about 4 percent of its income came from government sources, while about 60 percent came from member station fees and dues.

      Besides All Things Considered and Morning Edition, NPR's most popular offerings include Fresh Air, an interview program hosted by Terry Gross; Talk of the Nation, an interview and listener call-in program; and the weekly Car Talk. Other programs include the long-running Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz, NPR Playhouse, Latino USA, the environmental program Living on Earth, and the music programs Afropop Worldwide and The Thistle and Shamrock. NPR occasionally provides live coverage of news events such as major congressional hearings or presidential addresses. In 1993 NPR began broadcasting via satellite to Europe. It had more than 500 member stations by the mid-1990s.

      Separate public radio networks such as Pacifica and Public Radio International (PRI) also distribute programming to public radio stations.

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Universalium. 2010.

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