Commercial Free National Public Radio

What makes NPR commercial free?  I know what they’d like you to think keeps them commercial free.  It’s the generous donations from listeners and businesses.  I know that they are supported by these donations, but as far as I can tell it doesn’t make them commercial free, it just makes the commercials under-produced and boring.  A typical station goes out and drums business by approaching businesses around town and convincing them to buy ad space, which actually involves some work.  NPR takes a different approach.  They sit in their studio and annoy the crap out of their listeners by doing pledge drives and begging for donations.  Sure there are incentives to “donate” like books and CD’s or some artwork, but it hardly seems worth it since the amount they require you to pledge to get the incentives is usually quite a bit higher than if you just went and purchased it directly.  But then again you’re doing the community such a service with your donation… right?  After all, now that you’ve donated you can enjoy “commercial free” National Public Radio.  I usually just stop listening during these drawn out requests for cash, but the fact that they lie about the whole thing is what really irritates me.  They claim to have commercial free broadcasting, but before, after and often during the shows they announce the kind businesses that have “supported” that particular show.  And depending on how much you “donate” you get that amount of air time.  To me that sounds like ad space, just with a different name.  So no we’ve got advertisements for those businesses whether they want to admit it or not, but it’s underproduced and boring, because it just involves a DJ naming the company along with a quick blurb about it.  Is it just me or does it seem hypocritical?  Maybe I’m just going overboard on this.

Don’t get me wrong I still listen to NPR via our local station KRCC whenever I can. I have nothing but love and respect for the actual programs. I just get annoyed easily.

(This is written from my listening experience of our local radio station: KRCC http://www.krcc.org/)

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