David Discusses NPR’s Membership in the MIC Coalition with Adam Ragusea on The Current

One Of These Things Is Not Like the Others

We’ve taken National Public Radio to task for joining the “MIC Coalition” (or as we call it the “McCoalition”), a group of megacorporations and lobbying groups formed to oppose the Fair Play Fair Pay Act.  Here’s all the logos of the McCoaltion members (Amazon has dropped out already):

mccoaltion - Amazon

As soon as we saw that NPR was a member, there was something about NPR’s membership in this group of some of the biggest corporations in the world that just felt bad.  Thanks to Adam Ragusea’s interview with David, we can articulate that bad feeling much better.

In his introduction to the episode, Adam asks the question, “Should musicians finally be paid for radio play?  Should public radio stand in the way?…I too find it very weird that I find myself on the opposite side of NPR on a big issue.”

But the really insightful part of Adam’s lead in to David’s interview is the way he contrasted for-profit radio and non-profit radio.  This is, of course, the main distinction between NPR and every other corporate member of the McCoalition (and really every member unless you want to say that somehow trade associations comprised of for-profit corporations are like NPR–we’ll leave that argument to someone like Michael Petricone).

Adam says that a non-profit ought to have a different organizational duty of loyalty–instead of the for-profit’s duty to shareholders:

At least the way I figure it, [a non-profit’s] loyalty should be to your institution’s mission, not to the institution itself….And yet I often see public media institutions, mostly in little ways, doing things that serve the institution over its mission.

And that right there is an eloquent statement of what sticks in the craw about NPR’s membership in the McCoalition.  We’ve always believed–and are more convinced than ever–that NPR’s membership in the McCoalition was more the product of the suits in the lobbying department and not the journalists working in the news and music areas.

Have a listen to the show–Adam’s lead in to David’s interview starts around 20:20, but listen to the rest of it, too.  We really appreciate Adam giving David a platform to have a dialog about the issues.