Feedback: Listener Unhappy with NPR's Natural Gas Funding

Jan 12, 2015

We had a note in response to our December fundraising letter that went out to people who have donated in the past. Tyler commented, “It is with much regret that…I will not be donating any money to NPR for the foreseeable future.” 

Send your feedback to, call 859-622-1657, post on Facebook or send a tweet @889weku

Tyler went on, “I cannot in good conscience give money to an organization that takes money from the natural gas industry. People are dying and you are benefiting from it.  It also makes me deeply doubt your ability to be impartial.”

This is a message that requires at least a brief reply. Just three points: The sponsorship messages that listeners hear from “America’s Natural Gas” are from donations made to NPR, not to WEKU.  We derive no direct benefit from those funds; NPR assures us that it does have strict guidelines that maintain a so-called “firewall” between donors and it’s journalistic operations; and Listener Tyler is not alone in his concerns. If you Google NPR and “America’s Natural Gas” you will find numerous complaints or concerns about this sponsorship support.

The Ombudsman for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting wrote a long piece about it just last week.  You’ll find a link to it within this week’s Feedback post on WEKU dot FM.

Deborah messaged us by Facebook, saying,  “I have repeatedly tried to listen to WEKU on my android and had never been able to listen to your station - even though I can listen to my two other favorite public radio stations. I also want to be a donor but until I'm able to actually listen to you on my android, I will not.”

We wrote to Deborah giving our standard advice that, for now, she should check out the Eastern Kentucky University app or one of the third party providers such as TuneIn Radio or the Public Radio Player from PRX.

We’re always grateful for your feedback. 

Write to us at WEKU at edu dot edu or call 859-622-1657.  You can also post on the WEKU Facebook page or send a tweet @889weku.

Then tune in again next Monday at 6:31 and 8:31 am and 5:33 pm for Listener Feedback on 88-9 WEKU.