Promotion & Marketing Associate, WJCT
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
NPR and WJCT Public Media Celebrate 50th Anniversary of The First All Things Considered Broadcast
Jacksonville, Fla. – May 3, 2021 – The first broadcast of NPR’s All Things Considered took place on May 3, 1971. That day more than 20,000 people gathered in Washington, D.C., to protest against the Vietnam War. NPR journalists covered the day’s events, producing a 24-minute sound portrait of what was happening which was inducted in 2017 into the National Recording Registry of the Library of Congress for its place in U.S. audio heritage.
In 1971, NPR debuted with nearly 90 founding Member stations, 55 employees, and fewer than 2 million listeners. (WJCT-FM signed on a year later, in 1972) Now, more than 60 million people access NPR content for free on multiple platforms each week. Through its network of Member stations, NPR provides an essential service to local communities and those seeking vital information during emergencies.
“For the past 50 years NPR has been an essential, trusted source for international, national and local news, and cultural programming featuring music, history, education and the arts,” said NPR President and CEO John Lansing. “The All Things Considered first broadcast was a vivid report on demonstrations against the Vietnam war. Times may have changed but NPR’s mission and commitment to informing the American public has not. We just went through a summer of racial unrest, a global pandemic, and a very contentious election year. NPR is covering all of this and no longer just on the radio, we are meeting our listeners where they are and addressing their interests and needs.”
“During a year in which most Americans have felt isolated, public radio has served to connect us with what’s happening in the world and with one another. Not just as a source of news and inspiring insights on life and the arts but as an essential, enriching, and enlightening companion in listeners’ daily lives,” added LaFontaine, Oliver, Chair, NPR Board of Directors.
“WJCT Public Media is proud to celebrate this milestone with NPR and our WJCT News 89.9 listeners,” said David McGowan, CEO of WJCT Public Media. “As we continue to grow our audience base, we address their interests and needs by standing behind NPR’s mission and commitment to informing the American public, and delivering thoughtful and trustworthy news.”
To celebrate this milestone with our listeners, NPR and WJCT Public Media will feature a series of special programming and celebrations on WJCT News 89.9.
Fifty and Forward: A one-hour broadcast special that stations can air between April 30 – December 31.
NPR grew up alongside a post-Watergate journalism ethos that shaped the media industry for decades. Hosted by Audie Cornish and featuring other NPR journalists, we’ll unpack that ethos: how it developed in the newsroom and changed over time, through today. Analytical, critical and forward thinking, this program tells the story of NPR’s history in the context of the growth of modern media.
We Hold These Truths: At a moment when American society feels particularly divided, and the political system particularly fragile, we propose an examination of American democracy and how people participate in it. Through a special series of host pieces, character profiles and conversations, we will explore how one learns about democracy, how one gains a stake in a democratic system, and how democracy falls short.
Many NPR podcasts and shows will mark the NPR50 in an authentic, unique way throughout the year. Starting this week you can expect:
● 1A will spend an hour examining the past 50 years of NPR, featuring thought-provoking interviews with some of the industry’s founding leaders. It will then spend a second hour looking at the future of NPR, speaking to fresh voices both in and outside of the industry. They’ll also make space for 1A’s most dedicated listeners – and ask what they want to hear from public radio in the years ahead. Both hours will honor the organization while acknowledging NPR’s historical weak spots, and exploring how they’re being addressed now – and how they may change in the decades ahead.”
● To commemorate NPR50, World Cafe takes a trip into the musical time machine back to the year 1971. Considered by music fans and critics to be one of the greatest years in music, 1971 saw the release of significant albums by Marvin Gaye, Carole King, Joni Mitchell, Led Zeppelin, Sly & The Family Stone, and others. Host Raina Douris turns back the hands of time for this two hour musical journey to 1971. A companion playlist of the Best Songs from 1971, curated by stations, will be available on NPR Music.
Follow along and share your NPR anniversary wishes and stories using the hashtag #NPR50. For a full list of WJCT News 89.9 programming, visit news.wjct.org/schedule.
WJCT is the community-owned and operated public media organization serving Jacksonville and the First Coast since 1958, using television, radio, digital media, and live events to help community members learn, share, and grow. For more information on WJCT’s in-depth programming content, log on to WJCT Online at wjct.org. Like WJCT on Facebook (facebook.com/wjctjax) and follow WJCT on Twitter (@WJCTJax) and Instagram (@WJCTJax).
NPR, which is celebrating its 50th Anniversary this year, is widely known for its rigorous reporting and unsurpassed storytelling that connects with millions of Americans every day — on the air, online, and in-person. NPR strives to create a more informed public — one challenged and invigorated by a deeper understanding and appreciation of events, ideas, and cultures. With a nationwide network of award-winning journalists and 17 international bureaus, NPR and its Member Stations are never far from where a story is unfolding. Listeners can find NPR by tuning in to their local Member stations (npr.org/stations), and now on smart speaker devices — where listeners can simply say, “Play NPR” to tune into their local Member station’s live stream. Users can also access NPR podcasts, NPR One, NPR News Now, and the Visual Newscast on screened speakers. For more information visit npr.org/about and follow NPR Extra on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.