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NPR has long been known as a hotbed for female journalists in a male-dominated industry. By 2012, women made up just 18 percent of all radio news directors, but at NPR, women held the top editorial position at five of the seven news programs.

Nina Totenberg, Linda Wertheimer and Cokie Roberts, photographed around 1979, were among the first prominent female voices on NPR.

This was just one legacy of NPR’s Founding Mothers, who played a defining role in a revolutionary media when public radio began in the 1960s. They created the template for a new conversational way of telling the news and an expanded definition of what news is. 

Our guest Lisa Napoli covered media and technology for the New York Times at the dawn of the web, was the internet correspondent for MSNBC, and reported for the public radio show Marketplace. She joins us to talk about her latest book: Susan, Linda, Nina & Cokie: The Extraordinary Story of the Founding Mothers of NPR. 

 

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