After receiving hundreds of calls and e-mails from WBUR listeners, General Manager Paul La Camera released a carefully worded statement supporting NPR’s decision to fire Juan Williams — though it could have been “handled better,” he said — while reminding listeners that WBUR played no part in the decision:
While these events can always be handled better, the decision by the management of NPR to separate Juan Williams was obviously not based on a single debatable episode but rather on a series of breaches in recent periods that brought into question the journalistic integrity of NPR.
This decision was appropriately made on the national level and without the consultation or involvement of independent local stations like WBUR.
It is important to note that NPR and WBUR are separate entities. Content on WBUR comprises a variety of national and local sources, one of which is NPR. However, a plurality of our station’s programming originates here in Boston, including On Point, Here & Now, Radio Boston and the work of WBUR’s 30-person newsroom dedicated to reporting local content that is interwoven throughout the day.
Journalistic integrity and trust are the absolute bedrock principles of any news organization. We at WBUR support NPR or any news organization for that matter in its determination to protect those hallmarks.
As I wrote yesterday, some listeners are withdrawing their financial support of WBUR to protest Willliams’ termination by NPR.