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Take Away WNYC's "The Takeaway"

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PRI and WNYC's "The Takeaway" does a disservice to listeners. This petition asks that PRI and WNYC either dramatically improve the quality of this news program or remove it from the WNYC's schedule. In April 2008 the program began running for an hour on each of WNYC's AM and FM channels, since then it has grown to two hours on AM. It has replaced two well-regarded news programs, Morning Edition on FM and BBC World Service on AM. The program describes itself as (http://www.thetakeaway.org/about/): "the new national morning news program that delivers the news and analysis you need to catch up, start your day, and prepare for what's ahead. Hosts John Hockenberry and Adaora Udoji, along with the BBC World Service, The New York Times and WGBH Boston, invite listeners every morning to learn more and be part of the American conversation on-air and online at thetakeaway.org." Unfortunately, what actually provides is pointedly light and cursory coverage of the news in an over-produced, "shock-jock", talk-radio style. It's news-like, but not news. When compared to shows like the BBC World Service (which it has nudged off the morning the schedule on the AM side) falls miserably short, as it doesn't provide complete news stories with legs (in-depth coverage, analysis, insight). In lieu of this, it offers banter and opinion. In an email received from WYNC to explain the tone and content of the program, it was explained that "The Takeaway was developed to appeal to listeners of many different backgrounds and ages who are not currently served by public radio's offerings in the morning. That said, with The Takeaway we were excited to offer listeners a choice in morning news programming." Those are laudable goals but listeners do ask that the show make this more pluralistic appeal while still meeting a certain standard of quality and without pandering. Both the new audience and the old audience deserve this consideration. PRI and WNYC need to either dramatically improve the quality of this news program or remove it from the WNYC's schedule.


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