NPR Celebrates 50th Anniversary with 1-hour Special on WLIW-FM

“National Public Radio will serve the individual, it will promote personal growth, it will regard the individual differences with respect and joy, rather than derision and hate. It will celebrate the human experience as infinitely varied, rather than vacuous and banal. It will encourage a sense of active, constructive participation, rather than apathetic helplessness.”

NPR began its journey with this mission on the streets of Washington DC on this day in 1971. Since the network’s inception, news and journalism have changed in countless ways and NPR has changed with it, molded by the talents of its reporters, producers and hosts.

Now, as NPR marks 50 years and celebrates our efforts, we are also using this moment as an opportunity to reimagine what public radio can be for the audiences of tomorrow. Our commitment is to Hear Every Voice as we look forward to the next 50 years. 

The Fifty and Forward one-hour special airs on WLIW-FM Monday, May 3rd at 9pm with an encore Sunday, May 9th at 4pm. NPR grew up alongside a post-Watergate journalism ethos that shaped the media industry for decades. Hosted by Audie Cornish and featuring other NPR journalists, we’ll unpack that ethos: how it developed in the newsroom and changed over time, through today. Analytical, critical and forward thinking, this program tells the story of NPR’s history in the context of the growth of modern media.