Friday, May 15, 2009

Conflict of Interest

This morning Stellan and I were on our way to Elsa's house in the car and I was listening to my local NPR station, WLRN, as I often do. It was the top of the hour and before the news update, I heard the sponsor voice say, "Funding for NPR is made possible by EBSCO." Whaaa?
You see, my moms work for a publishing company, and their division was bought out by EBSCO two years ago with promises that the current employees would have many years ahead of them with EBSCO. A few weeks ago, it was announced that the honeymoon was over and that layoffs would begin that next week, eventually closing down the entire division by July. That's right, my moms will be losing their jobs with EBSCO in the very near future and joining the throngs of the unemployed.
Don't get me wrong, I think it's great to support public radio. When we're not living off student loans, I will be a regular contributor to public radio. But it just makes me wonder how they justify spending that kind of money on NPR when valued employees are being let go. How many layoffs have James D. and Catherine T. MacArthur made recently?

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