Why I no longer listen to NPR

NPR logoA friend mentioned volunteering at NPR so the other day I decided to listen to NPR on my commute home—something I'd not done in months upon months, perhaps even more than a year.

I listened because I couldn't remember why I don't normally listen to it. I didn't have a particular reason, it wasn't like NPR offended me or anything, but one thing was clear: I never do.

I tuned in, giving the whole commute over to see what the latest was in NPR goings-on.

Oh, of course

Five minutes into the experiment I realized why I'd abandoned it and the reason was forest-for-the-trees obvious: All of NPR's content is serial. Meaning, it's one story at a time and I can't chose which story to listen to.

You know—like everything on the radio.

Hit me

PodcastNormally I listen to podcasts on the way home and I have dozens of them to choose from—more than I can listen to during my commutes in a week—by design.

Podcast content is parallel, meaning all stories are delivered to me at the same time giving me choice as to what to consume and when.

Time I spend waiting for something interesting on NPR is time I could be spending already listening to something interesting. And chances are that whatever NPR is talking about is something I'm already aware of anyway, having read about it on Twitter or my RSS feed during the day. A nightly update on the day's top news is great—but is behind everything current, by definition.

So it turns out my problem isn't with NPR per se. It's with the medium NPR lives in.

I wonder if they have any podcasts...