I know that NPR takes a lot of shots on this site, many of them deserved, but beyond the familliar territory of "All Things Considered" and "Morning Edition" there are at least two good shows that are worth a listen.
Two shows I find myself listening to more often these days are "On Point"
and surprisingly, "Tell Me More."
Tell Me More, hosted by Michel Martin, is targeted mainly at minorities and towards women. Being a middle aged white guy in Vt. I am hardly the demographic the show is aimed at, and though I don't tune in everyday, I find myself listening more often that I might expect.
Like so many NPR shows, TMM is mixed between celebrity interviews, hard news, human interest stories etc. What helps it rise above the herd is the host, Michel Martin. She knows how to ask insightful questions, and is fearless about taking up the unpopular side of an argument and playing an effective "devils advocate" when she feels the discussion has become one sided.
The other show, which I listen to most of the time is "On Point" with host Tom Ashbrook. In my area this is presented as a pair of one hour shows aired back to back. Each show is devoted to a single topic usually, though they do have a weekly "news roundup" show. Once again topic vary all over the map, and I tend to abandon the ones devoted to celebrity interviews or pop culture topics, but the hard news stories are done as well as anything on NPR.
Todays first show was entirely about the EFCA with representatives from both labor unions and the Chamber of Commerce debating the bill. Callers are well screened in that they usually seemed well informed and ready to make a point, but all political views seem to get through. Tom Ascroft is a masterful moderator who has a wonderful knack for cutting to the heart of any question, and is obviously well prepared and aware of the salient points.
The show yesterday spent a full hour on the topic of "The Great Disruption" so named by the guest, Austrailian Paul Gilding, formerly of Greenpeace, who made tha case that our economy was running up against the limits of what the ecology of the planet could support and that we were facing much more than a simple financial crisis. This is the sort of topic that is normally dealt with in a 5 min segment on the more popular NPR shows, and treated as a "fringe" type of story.
For those of you who have the opportunity to listen to NPR during the day either by streaming or through the air on the little magic box called a radio, I encourage you to check these two shows out. NPR has it's problems and it recieves much well deserved criticism, but it does some good things too, and I rate these, along with "Fresh Air" as among those well worth a listen.
This will be a near drive by as I just can't sit at the computer right now to answer comments. I'll check back leter in the day however, likely long after this has scrolled to oblivion to see your comments. Please, if you have any other shows on NPR or anywhere else that you want to bring to peoples attention then by all means do so.