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NPR kills radio story because of accent


"Today: Alchemy. Tomorrow: the World!"
Jul 4, 2016

... .... I thought it was a good story: A Latin American artist finally being recognized in the United States 45 years after her death. I pitched the story to National Public Radio. After listening to a work sample, Tom Cole, my editor, had reservations: “I worry that show producers might not like your accent,” he wrote.

... ...
So when Cole raised this as a concern, I was shocked; I knew accents could be taboo for some radio people, but I thought NPR would be thrilled to have a piece about a Brazilian artist by a Brazilian journalist. Plus, I’d voiced stories for WNYC and PRI’s The World many times before. I told him I wanted to give it a try. I went ahead and reported it—I attended the press preview at MoMA and interviewed the cocurator and other sources.

Months later, after editing the story, Cole told me that the piece wouldn’t air, in part because of space and in part because of my accent.
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