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On Our 2016 Election Coverage

Alan Diaz

Since Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders entered the presidential race last spring, VPR has heard from a number of listeners  inquiring about how VPR would cover the presidential campaign.

Covering a presidential election is one of the most challenging stories for news organizations to tell, and given all the complexities and unexpected twists this race has already taken, that challenge has become even more pronounced this year. It’s a challenge we readily accept, knowing of course that we’ll never get it exactly right for every person, every time.

A Vermonter in the presidential race is definitely big news for our state, and VPR planned special coverage of this election as a result. This resulted in a special one-hour program on the rise and record of Bernie Sanders, which was shared and broadcast around the country. It also resulted in live special coverage from caucus and primary states and a series of campaign stories by VPR reporters.

VPR has been covering Bernie Sanders for many years, and he has been a frequent guest on Vermont Edition. Our historic audio has been a rich supplement to this political story.

Also, we realize that everyone can’t hear or read every story. So in the ICYMI (in case you missed it) department, here is our complete coverage.

Last fall’s hour-long news program, “Becoming Bernie”, was broadcast by public radio stations across the country and published at It explores the forces that shaped the life and politics of the self-described democratic-socialist, from his early days in Brooklyn through his candidacy announcement. It also examines the line he has walked to balance his Independent status and his relationships with progressives, Democrats and socialists. You can see the project here.

Also, as a special public service, VPR produced the only Vermont public opinion surveyon the presidential election prior to Town Meeting Day and the presidential primary. This poll was cited widely for the popularity Bernie Sanders received in Vermont.

As independent news organizations, VPR and NPR adhere to carefully developed codes of journalistic ethics, and we are dedicated to balanced and comprehensive coverage of the 2016 election. Although Sen. Sanders is from our home state, we are obligated to cover all of the candidates fairly. You can read more about our editorial policy here.

While we do not have direct influence in NPR’s coverage, we are sharing feedback from our listeners about its election coverage. NPR also has an ombudsman who regularly provides an independent look at how the network is doing with coverage of certain issues. Elizabeth Jensen addressed NPR’s coverage of the Sanders campaign recently, and you can find her analysis here.

We appreciate all the feedback we’ve received and are taking it into account as we continue to tell this important story. Please don’t hesitate tosend us any questions you may have.

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