Friday Feedback for December 2, 2016
Remove me from your mailing list. - Len in Ocean Isle
You know, sometime you have one of those weeks when everyone thinks you're just swell. . . Yeah, this is not one of those weeks. Listener Len in Ocean Isle Beach wrote: "I will never contribute to NPR again. . . Your news reporting for the past year never revealed the facts of the sources of the stalemates on Capitol Hill, of the depth and breadth of the Obama successes, and the sources of his oppositions, and of the depth and breadth of Hillary Rodham Clinton's proposed programs. You only reported Trump's proclamations, and on Clinton's emails, a trumped-up year of falsehood. Remove me from your mailing list. You elected a vacuous buffoon, which we will now suffer for. You should have done your job professionally." Obviously this message is meant for NPR. I've said before that I'm very proud of the staff at WHQR, which has covered local races with fairness and accuracy. We'll miss Len as a member of the station.
Listener Peggy in Myrtle Beach wrote about her listening: She gave 4 out of 5 in signal strength to HQR News at 98.9, but only 2 to 4 for Classical HQR at 102.3. However, she added:
I do listen mostly in my car. 102.3 does not always come through, especially in the morning (9-10). However, I must admit this may be fixed as it doesn't seem to be happening as much now. . . Have a Merry Christmas!
I was under the impression national programming such as Morning Edition and All Things Considered was rather expensive. So I’m puzzled why WHQR consistently cuts away from the national programming to insert 10 minute swaths of local “fluff” stories. I’ve switched away to a distant signal and found we are missing significant national stories such as the analysis of recent Supreme Court cases. Why pay for expensive national programming, and not air it?. . .[WHQR’s] local work. . . quite often to me sounds like assignments for a creative writing class. . .I was around when WHQR launched, and over the years have seen it continue on a course of what I perceive as sort of a cliquish path catering to the close downtown area and a tight knit art group. I rarely feel like there is coverage of any other segment of your service area. As more and more people have the opportunity to select their listening via computer or online with devices such as Alexa/Echo, I think you risk losing your audience.
I wrote to Anonymous that it’s true that we know that the national content is of great interest to our listeners. Those programs are specifically designed with “cutaways” for local content. In 2009, when it seemed financial distress might force us to become a repeater for a distant station, this community fought hard to keep local content on the air. As for the question of fluff, we believe that listeners are not well-served with a diet of nothing but hard news — there is a reason, after all, why NPR’s flagship program is called All Things Considered.
We’d love to hear from you on Friday Feedback. You can send an email message to feedback-at-whqr-dot-org, or you can leave a call at 910-292-9477. And as always, thanks for your Feedback.