NPR host steps aside to avoid conflict of interest with Obama campaign

Norris, the host of NPR’s "All Things Considered," informed the staff of her decision in a memo on Monday.

“After careful consideration, we decided that Broderick's new role could make it difficult for me to continue hosting ATC,” Norris wrote. “Given the nature of Broderick's position with the campaign and the impact that it will most certainly have on our family life, I will temporarily step away from my hosting duties until after the 2012 elections.”

Norris will not be leaving the station entirely, and could still return as the show's host following the presidential election. Until then, she’ll produce segments and features outside of politics.

“There’s still an awful lot of ground I can cover in this interim role,” she said.

According to NPR’s code of ethics:

"When a spouse, family member or companion of an NPR journalist is involved in political activity, the journalist should be sensitive to the fact that this could create real or apparent conflicts of interest. In such instances the NPR journalist should advise his or her supervisor to determine whether s/he should recuse him or herself from a certain story or certain coverage."

Last week, NPR dropped a program called World of Opera after it was discovered that the show’s freelance host, Lisa Simeone, was a political activist working on behalf of a group of Occupy Wall Street protestors.

As campaign season heats up, media outlets are forced to reevaluate such matters. In September, Connie Schultz, the Pulitzer-prize winning columnist for the Cleveland Plain Dealer and wife of Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), resigned from the paper citing her husband’s reelection campaign.

“In recent weeks, it has become painfully clear that my independence, professionally and personally, is possible only if I’m no longer writing for the newspaper that covers my husband’s Senate race on a daily basis,” Schultz said in a statement.

More in News

Obama calls for Congress to pass budget, avoid shutdown

Read more »