Feedback: Do You Pay for Interviews & Not Happy with Raucous Discussion

Mar 31, 2014

Jan wrote to us, “When I listen to a radio reporter interviewing someone, invariably it ends with the remark 'thank you for having me'. I do not understand that remark at all, unless the interviewee gets paid by the interviewer. Is there any truth to my suspicion?”

Send your feedback to: WEKU (at) EKU (dot) EDU, call 859-622-1657, post on Facebook or send a tweet @889weku

The simple answer to Jan's question is, certainly not for local productions at WEKU, or anywhere I have ever worked and not at NPR or other public radio entities. 

Here is the more detailed response I emailed to her, " I can tell you from the perspective of WEKU and my personal experience, any legitimate news organization will NOT pay for interviews.  That is certainly the case for our station and for NPR, the BBC and the other news programs we carry.

We would consider paying a news source or talk show guest a violation of journalistic ethics, unless there was full disclosure of why that payment was made.

I would say that the 'thank you' from guests is primarily a 'thanks' for the exposure or opportunity to express their opinion, in some cases for publicity for their book or organization."

Sarah, from Berea, wrote, “For the first time ever I have had to turn off NPR because the conversation on Eastern Standard is so completely elementary I can't bear to have my brain exposed to the ridiculous banter. They are fighting like 2nd graders. The verbal equivalent of sticking tongues out at each other. Oy. Please find a way to have this important conversation among adults.”

We have asked Sarah to clarify but we are pretty certain that what she heard was not on Eastern Standard.  It is possible she heard a heated conversation on another program. But our goal is to have civil discussions on all our programs. We’ll look forward to hearing some specifics about what she heard.

From the Listener Comment Line, here’s Joan, “I keep trying to get 102.1 on my radio at home, zip code 40509.  I keep donating and I keep saying that I’m wondering when that is going to be fixed.”

And, we do not have an answer for Joan but we did leave a message for her, saying that we are continuing to look for solutions to better serve our music listeners.

And, finally, thanks for all the comments along with pledges last week during our spring fund drive. Please be assured that we read every one of them, plus you can send feedback any time, by email:  WEKU at eku dot edu, leave a message on our Comment Line at 859-622-1657, post on Facebook or even tweet it.

Then be sure to tune in again next Monday at 6:33 and 8:49 am or 5:33 pm for Listener Feedback on 88-9, WEKU.