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Friday Feedback for November 3, 2023

This is WHQR's "Friday Feedback," featuring listener questions and comments — and updates about your public media station.

Here's WHQR Station Manager Kevin Crane:

Kevin Crane: Guns have been in the news recently, and coverage of the issues around gun ownership generated some comments with concerns about bias that I’d like to address. In October, the program Here and Now aired an excerpt from the WBUR podcast series “The Gun Machine.” This excerpt proposes that fear has historically driven gun sales. The piece starts with the invention of the flintlock musket in Europe in the 1600s and continues through Reconstruction, crediting guns with making the slave trade and slavery possible. One listener wrote to respond “Your story today on the 2nd Amendment of the Constitution was really biased. Never once did I hear the 2nd Amendment referenced to English medieval law requiring the all men to possess weapons, and to practice on Sunday with weapons.” This listener is correct in that English law from the 13th century is not mentioned in this excerpt, and the subject of its relevance to our 2nd Amendment is a topic the U.S. Supreme Court has taken up. However, in reference to the programs premise, I respectfully disagree that this omission is indicative of bias.

Another listener claimed that we repeatedly fail to report on shootings that are stopped by “a good guy with a gun,” which betrays a bias on our part. It is true that you will not hear the phrase “a good guy with a gun” used by a journalist because that is an advocacy phrase made popular by Wayne Lapierre, CEO of the National Rifle Association. However, it is not true that we choose which mass shooting to report on based on how they are resolved.

Moving from news to music, we received some very nice comments recently. One listener said “I hope my young daughter remembers always having classical music playing around her.” Another listener to our classical station asked “Have you thought about switching to Jazz at night? I enjoy classical all day, but I like Jazz too.” She was pleased to learn that she can listen to Jazz on WHQR after Smooth Landing from 8 PM to midnight on weeknights on 91.3. A Smooth Landing listener wrote “Please thank George for another amazing evening. It's become our wind-down and we love his selections!”

This month we bid farewell to listener Nicole Girard who wrote to tell us that she’s moving to a different state, saying “Thank you, it will be hard to find an NPR station as good as yours. We really loved many of the weeknight local music hours.” Thank you Nicole, and good luck in your new home. Is it too late to suggest listening to WHQR on your smart speaker or our app?

We love to hear from our listeners. We're on Facebook and Twitter, also known as X, or email us at feedback@whqr.org. Thanks for your feedback, and we look forward to hearing from you.