NPR Suspends Editor Whose Essay Criticized the Broadcaster


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NPR has suspended Uri Berliner, the senior business editor who broke ranks and published an essay arguing that the nonprofit radio network had allowed liberal bias to affect its coverage.

Mr. Berliner was suspended by the network for five days, starting last Friday, for violating the network’s policy against doing work outside the organization without first getting permission.

Mr. Berliner acknowledged his suspension in an interview with NPR on Monday, providing one of the network’s reporters with a copy of the written rebuke. In presenting the warning, NPR said that Mr. Berliner had failed to clear his work for outside outlets, adding that he would be fired if he violated the policy again.

Mr. Berliner’s essay was published last week in The Free Press, a popular Substack publication.

He declined to comment about the suspension. NPR said it did not comment on personnel matters.

The revelation of Mr. Berliner’s punishment is the latest aftershock to rattle NPR since Mr. Berliner published his essay. Employees at the public radio network were taken aback by Mr. Berliner’s public condemnation of the broadcaster, and several have said that they no longer trust him because of his remarks. Mr. Berliner told The New York Times last week that he did not reach out to the network before publishing his essay.

After Mr. Berliner’s essay was published, NPR’s new chief executive, Katherine Maher, came under renewed scrutiny as conservative activists resurfaced a series of years-old social media posts criticizing former President Donald J. Trump and embracing progressive causes. One of the activists, Christopher Rufo, has pressured media organizations into covering controversies involving influential figures, such as the plagiarism allegations against Claudine Gay, the former Harvard president.

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