How NPR Works

NPR's Mission Statement

The mission of NPR is to work in partnership with member stations to create a more informed public — one challenged and invigorated by a deeper understanding and appreciation of events, ideas and cultures. To accomplish our mission, we produce, acquire, and distribute programming that meets the highest standards of public service in journalism and cultural expression; we represent our members in matters of their mutual interest; and we provide satellite interconnection for the entire public radio system.

NPR is a nationally acclaimed provider of news, information, and entertainment programming, and is the media industry leader in sound gathering and production. The world's first noncommercial, satellite-delivered radio network, NPR is an independent, private, nonprofit membership organization funded primarily through its own service-generating activities.

NPR was incorporated in 1970 pursuant to the Public Broadcasting Act of 1967, but it is not a government agency. NPR is not a radio station itself nor does it own any radio stations, but NPR programs can be heard on more than 800 public radio stations across the United States.


  • produces, acquires and distributes programming that meets the highest standards of public service in journalism and cultural expression
  • represents its member stations in matters of their mutual interest
  • provides satellite interconnection for the entire public radio system

NPR programming is distributed via satellite to more than 800 stations nationwide -- in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Guam. Each station designs its own format by combining local programming with offerings from NPR and other sources to best serve its particular audience.

NPR produces and distributes more than 130 hours of original programming each week, including the award-winning newsmagazines Morning Edition® and All Things Considered®; entertainment programs such as Car Talk; music programming such as The Thistle & Shamrock, the classical Performance Today® and Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz®; and a variety of talk and information programs, including Talk of the Nation and News & Notes with Ed Gordon. NPR News also produces extended coverage of special events and breaking news, from the award-winning coverage of Sept. 11 to regular election specials.

NPR also distributes programs internationally via NPR Worldwide and provides top-quality content through other media, such as books, CDs, the Internet and Sirius Satellite Radio.


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