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The Independent Weekly has a well-reported and balanced article about the dispute between WUNC-FM and the reproductive and abortion rights organization Ipas. WUNC has a very small-c conservative policy restricting political advocacy in its underwriting announcements, which led them to require the removal of the phrase "reproductive rights" from Ipas's announcement.

Ipas naturally balked. While I can see their point, this does seem an area where compromise was possible; WUNC's alternate phrasing, "whose mission is to provide women control over their reproductive health," seems strong and accurate to me. On the other hand, the article quotes a former NPR general counsel as not seeing a problem with the original text. One thing's for sure, the publicity Ipas has gotten from this fight has likely been worth far more to them than the value of the announcements, while WUNC may be feeling the hit from some rescinded pledges.

(IPAS press release)

(WUNC response)


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I was thoroughly disgusted with WUNC -- to the point that I took the money we'd pledged to them and donated it to Ipas -- the announcements were airing for months before Joan Seifert Rose changed them, which to me says there was a fear of conservative backlash.