David Folkenflik

David Folkenflik was described by Geraldo Rivera of Fox News as "a really weak-kneed, backstabbing, sweaty-palmed reporter." Others have been kinder. The Columbia Journalism Review, for example, once gave him a "laurel" for reporting that immediately led the U.S. military to institute safety measures for journalists in Baghdad.

Based in New York City, Folkenflik serves as NPR's media correspondent.

His stories and analyses are broadcast on the network's newsmagazines, such as All Things Considered, Morning Edition, and Here & Now, and are featured on NPR's website and mobile platforms. Folkenflik's reports cast light on the stories of our age, the figures who shape journalism, and the tectonic shifts affecting the news industry. Folkenflik has reported intently on the relationship between the press, politicians, and the general public, as well as the fight over the flow of information in the age of Trump. Folkenflik brought listeners the profile of a Las Vegas columnist who went bankrupt fending off a libel lawsuit from his newspaper's new owner; conducted the first interview with New York Times executive editor Dean Baquet after his appointment; and repeatedly broke news involving the troubled Tronc company, which owns some of the most important regional newspapers in the country. In early 2018, Folkenflik's exposé about the past workplace behavior of the CEO of the Los Angeles Times forced the executive's immediate ouster from that job and helped inspire the sale of the newspaper.

Folkenflik is the author of Murdoch's World: The Last of the Old Media Empires. The Los Angeles Times called Murdoch's World "meaty reading... laced with delicious anecdotes" and the Huffington Post described it as "the gift that keeps on giving." Folkenflik is also editor of Page One: Inside the New York Times and the Future of Journalism. His work has appeared in such publications as the Washington Post, Politico Magazine, Newsweek International, the National Post of Canada, and the Australian Financial Review. Business Insider has called Folkenflik one of the 50 most influential people in American media.

Folkenflik joined NPR in 2004 after more than a decade at the Baltimore Sun, where he covered higher education, national politics, and the media. He started his professional career at the Durham Herald-Sun in North Carolina. Folkenflik served as editor-in-chief at the Cornell Daily Sun and graduated from Cornell with a bachelor's degree in history.

A five-time winner of the Arthur Rowse Award for Press Criticism from the National Press Club, Folkenflik has received numerous other recognitions, including the inaugural 2002 Mongerson Award for Investigative Reporting on the News and top honors from the National Headliners. In 2018, the Society of Professional Journalists recognized Folkenflik with its 2018 Ethics in Journalism Award. In 2017, Penn State University named Folkenflik as the nation's leading media critic with the Bart Richards Award. He also served as the inaugural Irik Sevin Fellow at Cornell. Folkenflik frequently lectures at college campuses and civic organizations across the country and often appears as a media analyst for television and radio programs in the U.S., the U.K., Canada, Australia, and Ireland.

It is a classic moment in the weeks before Election Day: a news outlet runs a front-page exclusive promising scandalous revelations about a big-ticket candidate.

This week, the New York Post published a story based on what it says are emails — "smoking gun" emails, it calls them — sent by a Ukrainian business executive to the son of Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden. The story fits snugly into a narrative from President Trump and his allies that Hunter Biden's zealous pursuit of business ties abroad also compromised the former vice president.

A District of Columbia Superior Court judge has ruled that the U.S. Agency for Global Media's CEO, Michael Pack, acted unlawfully in seizing control of a fund designed to sponsor initiatives to ensure people living under repressive regimes have free and safe access to the Internet.

The Open Technology Fund helped to underwrite the development of Tor and Signal, technologies that let people access the Web and communicate securely and privately, even in countries like Iran and China that highly regulate such activities.

Updated at 10:30 a.m. ET, Fri. Oct 9

Five suspended officials at the U.S. Agency for Global Media are suing the agency, its new CEO and several of his most senior aides, alleging they are breaking the law — routinely — in pursuing a pro-Trump agenda for the Voice of America news service.

The acting director of the Voice of America said Monday night that he would reject any outside or political pressure on his newsroom's coverage following news reports that two pro-Trump political appointees at the VOA's parent agency had investigated the news service's White House bureau chief and accused him of anti-Trump bias.

Tucker Carlson appears to be made of Teflon. Fox News' top-rated host has been repeatedly accused of anti-immigrant and racist comments, which have cost his political opinion show many of its major advertisers. Yet Carlson endures in his prime-time slot.

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At the Voice of America, staffers say the Trump appointee leading their parent agency is threatening to wash away legal protections intended to insulate their news reports from political meddling.

"What we're seeing now is the step-by-step and wholescale dismantling of the institutions that protect the independence and the integrity of our journalism," says Shawn Powers, until recently the chief strategy officer for the U.S. Agency for Global Media, which oversees VOA.

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A group of veteran journalists for the Voice of America delivered a letter of protest Monday denouncing their parent agency's new CEO, Michael Pack, and alleging Pack's remarks in a recent interview prove he has a damaging agenda for the international broadcasters he oversees.

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The legendary newspaper columnist Pete Hamill has died. He was 85. He was a New York City tabloid crusader, and that made him one of the most influential figures in the city for decades. In 2011, Pete Hamill spoke with WHYY's Fresh Air.

James Murdoch resigned Friday from the board of directors of News Corp., the publishing arm of his family's media empire, in a very public sign of dissent that typically plays out behind closed doors.

The rupture capped a period of intensifying criticism of the coverage and views offered by the news empire created by his father Rupert Murdoch. Those include News Corp.'s publications such as The Wall Street Journal and the New York Post and a sister Murdoch company, the Fox News Channel.

Broadcast ratings for nearly all of NPR's radio shows took a steep dive in major markets this spring, as the coronavirus pandemic kept many Americans from commuting to work and school. The network's shows lost roughly a quarter of their audience between the second quarter of 2019 and the same months in 2020.

Updated at 2 p.m. ET

Dozens of foreign nationals working as journalists in the U.S. for Voice of America, the federal government's international broadcaster, will not have their visas extended once they expire, according to three people with knowledge of the decision.

Those people — each with current or past ties to the agency — said the new CEO of the U.S. Agency for Global Media, Michael Pack, signaled he will not approve the visa extensions.

Updated 5:29 PM ET

The Los Angeles Times is moving to settle a proposed class-action lawsuit filed by six Black, Hispanic and female journalists at the paper contending that the under-representation of people of color there is a result of longstanding discriminatory pay practices.

New U.S. Agency for Global Media CEO Michael Pack swept into office like a man on a mission last week, firing the top executives and advisory boards of federally funded international broadcasters which weekly reach 340 million people abroad. A new lawsuit alleges he broke federal law in doing so.

President Trump's pick to lead the U.S. Agency for Global Media, Michael Pack, showed up to work Wednesday for the first time after being approved by the U.S. Senate two weeks earlier.

His words to staff were affirming. His actions were anything but.

The Los Angeles Times' top editor is scrambling to placate journalists of color after years of often-unfulfilled promises by the paper to make grand progress in the diversity of the newsroom's ranks.

Some journalists have used terms such as "internal uprising" to describe their anger over racial inequity at the paper. Scores have participated in intense internal debates over the LA Times' coverage of recent protests and hiring practices, to the point that senior editors have weighed in, promising to listen and learn.

The fight over racial justice that has sparked protests across the country is also upending some of the country's leading newsrooms.

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The fight over racial justice has found its way inside some of the country's leading newsrooms.

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There was news this afternoon of a major shakeup at the New York Times. The newspaper announced that James Bennet has resigned as the editorial page editor. His deputy is being given a different role in the newsroom.

Inside the Tribune Publishing newspaper chain, all eyes are focusing on Thursday's annual shareholder meeting. The hedge fund Alden Global Capital is expected to consolidate its control over the company and usher in even more severe cuts than the ones the company has put in place.

At a time of widespread layoffs and cutbacks throughout the local news business, a pair of philanthropists is seeking to promote more local coverage from public radio with a gift of $4.7 million for NPR collaborations in the Midwest and California.

The gift from Eric and Wendy Schmidt, the former executive chairman of Google and the head of the Schmidt Family Foundation, respectively, will launch the Midwest regional newsroom and boost the one in California with a focus on investigative reporting and coverage relevant to underserved communities.

Updated at 4:41 p.m. ET

Fox News personalities have been cheerleading protesters across the U.S. gathering in defiance of state lockdown orders. This week, the situation became so extreme that a top executive at the network tried to rein in his stars.

Michael Bloomberg's short-lived presidential bid reignited a long-simmering dispute over the widespread use of nondisclosure agreements at American corporations — especially at his own.

The Voice of America defended itself Friday against accusations by the Trump White House that the news service is uncritically relaying Chinese propaganda about that country's effort to contain the COVID-19 pandemic.

"VOA too often speaks for America's adversaries—not its citizens," The White House charged in an official statement released Thursday. "Journalists should report the facts, but VOA has instead amplified Beijing's propaganda." (Boldface reflects the original statement.)

How to describe President Trump's newest press secretary?

Kayleigh McEnany, just days shy of her 32nd birthday, already has acquired a bevy of classic establishment credentials. She holds degrees from Georgetown University's foreign service school and Harvard Law. She studied at Oxford. She served as a top spokeswoman for the Republican National Committee — which is to say the GOP — and for the president's re-election campaign.

NPR has named a distinguished media ethicist as its sixth public editor, appointing Kelly McBride of the Poynter Institute to fill the newsroom watchdog role at a time when many other major news outlets have abandoned it.

"The public editor represents the public interest in our journalism and helps hold us accountable to maintaining our high standards of journalism," NPR CEO John Lansing said in an interview. "And so [it's] really a critical position for us, particularly during this current [public health] crisis.

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Dr. Anthony Fauci is one of the president's top advisers on how to tackle the coronavirus spread, so it's hard to imagine he has many free moments in his day. Yet he is spending a lot of time giving interviews.

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ESPN has gone from gearing up for March Madness to featuring marble racing.

As the coronavirus shuts down Broadway, bars, bowling alleys and more, consider the predicament of cable giant ESPN: The self-proclaimed "worldwide leader in sports" is now operating in a world where there are nearly no live sports.

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