There’s been much discussion and discord in America in recent weeks about “fake news” and “alternative facts” and the role of the news media in an increasingly complex and polarized world. Perhaps it’s been a topic of conversation in your home or workplace. We’ve been talking about it at WBHM, too.
Our journalists at WBHM always strive to report the news with fairness and without favor. Our reporters put much thought and effort into the stories they cover and we aim for the highest professional standards. News Director Gigi Douban and I are currently reviewing WBHM’s ethics guidelines to ensure they are comprehensive and relevant to the challenges we face today when reporting about our city, our state, our nation and the world. When we complete our work, we will publish those guidelines at WBHM.org in an effort to be as transparent as possible about what we do and how we do it.
NPR’s Michel Martin has a saying about public radio that I love: Nonprofit and independent, public radio is “unbought and unbossed. Our listeners own us,” Michel says.
At WBHM, our service is, first and invariably, to our audience and the community. That is reflected in our mission statement (which is on our web site): WBHM digs deeper to provide stories, ideas, insights and programs for the people of Alabama. Our mission is to reach beyond the mundane and superficial to inform, to enlighten, and to provide an understanding of our diverse, complex and ever-changing world. Our commitment at WBHM is to help our listeners listen deeper.
That commitment closely resembles the mission statement of our main provider of programming, NPR (and it is found on the NPR web site): The mission of NPR, in partnership with its member stations, is to create a more informed public, one challenged and invigorated by a deeper understanding and appreciation of events, ideas, and culture within the United States and across the globe. To this end, NPR reports, produces, acquires and distributes news, information and other content that meet the highest standards of public service in journalism and cultural expression.
Thank you for listening to WBHM and supporting its work. And, of course, we’re listening, too. Have a suggestion? Some praise? A critique? Please send it my way. I can be reached at email@example.com and 205-934-2227.