CPB Office of the Ombudsman

Censorship or Prudence?

Joel Kaplan

August 29, 2014

Bill Watkins of Louisiana writes:

Jim Engster had a very compelling interview this morning regarding an individual who was killed in our community. I told a friend about it so he could hear the podcast. I see WRKF took the podcast down.

I'm wondering why they would do that, and does that amount to censorship of an WRKF program that listeners have already heard live? I just don't understand why they would do that. It was a very compelling interview about a very difficult subject.

I queried Baton Rouge-based WRKF and here was the response of David Gordon, president and general manager:

The show aired in its entirety, live as scheduled with no interruptions, in its regular time slot at 9 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 28, 2014.

I made the decision not to post the show online because I was concerned with possible legal issues raised by having anonymous guests, at least one of whom is apparently involved in an open federal investigation, on the air making what appear to be unsubstantiated allegations.

About CPB

CPB promotes the growth and development of public media in communities throughout America.

Programs & Projects

CPB awards grants to stations and independent producers to create programs and services.