NPR Fires Reporter Lisa Simeone For Occupying Wall Street? Not Exactly

Last night NPR fired Lisa Simeone after the radio host attended an Occupy Wall Street rally. Except that NPR didn’t fire Simeone. Simeone wasn’t a reporter for the public radio station. And Simeone’s firing had nothing to do with Occupy Wall Street.

But hey, a good headline is a good headline.

The Washington Post reports that after the inaccurate story broke, NPR sent out a series of tweets to various news organizations asking them to correct the facts.

NPR also linked to an article on the NPR blog with the correct facts. The facts of the story are:

  • Lisa Simeone was fired from her job as the host of Soundprint
  • Soundprint is an independent public radio program that is not produced by NPR.
  • Simeone was fired for her involvement with the October 2011/Stop the Machine protests. Not Occupy Wall Street of Occupy D.C.
  • NPR had no contact with the managers of Soundprint before Simeone’s firing.

Simeone told the Washington Post:

“What I have spent the morning doing is just trying to explain the complicated arcana of public radio, trying to explain to people, so they understand why they got the story wrong.”

Moira Rankin, president of the Soundprint Media Center, said that Simeone broke her freelance contract because she was “not allowed to have any partisan involvement.”

So Simeone broke a freelance contract that was made between her and the people at the Soundprint Media Center. So how did NPR get involved?

Rankin said that Soundprint follows the same ethics guidelines as NPR, just like Newspapers follow the Associated Press guidelines.

What do you think of this whole NPR / Lisa Simeone mess? Has the digital age of reporting ushered in an era where catchy headlines outweigh factual reporting?

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