Extraordinary Stories of Ordinary Life

The Man Who Put the ‘P’ in NPR

joe and bill siemering

One of the best mission statements I’ve read is the original NPR mission, which was written in 1969 by Bill Siemering. Bill is an amazing guy who, at the age of 80, continues to help create radio stations and programs in developing countries around the world. The manifesto Bill wrote is no longer NPR’s official mission statement but it’s a lovely reminder of why we do this work. It’s truly worth reading.  (Here’s the link).

Here at Radio Diaries we like history – including our own. So with help from the good folks at Transom.org,  I brought Bill into a studio because I was curious how he came to write that original mission statement, and why. I asked him to look back at the history of public media, and to imagine the future. I also asked him to read part of that original NPR mission statement.  You can hear our conversation on this special episode of The Radio Diaries Podcast.

You can also read a transcript of our conversation at Transom.org, thanks to Jay Allison, Sydney Lewis and Samantha Broun. If you don’t know about Transom…go there as soon as you can. It’s like a master class in radio storytelling.

Radio Diaries is part of Radiotopia from PRX, a collective of the best story-driven podcasts on the planet. This week’s episode is sponsored by Squarespace. Use the offer code “DIARIES” to get 10% off your first website.

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