NPR has discovered that former freelancer Danielle Karson recycled interview clips in more stories than originally reported.
Last month, NPR severed ties with Karson after finding that she produced at least 30 reports for NPR newscasts that reused audio from previous interviews. On Tuesday, the network said that she had reused interview clips in at least 157 reports.
NPR found the recycled reporting after reviewing 1,429 stories filed by Karson from 2011–18. The files are stored in NPR’s audio management system.
“Those actions violated basic journalistic standards,” NPR news executives said in an updated post about Karson’s reused clips. They pointed to NPR’s Ethics Handbook, which says that listeners “should not be left to think that any archival or previously obtained audio was gathered in the context of the current piece.” The post was co-authored by Chris Turpin, acting SVP for news and editorial director; Sarah Gilbert, acting VP for news programming; and Mark Memmott, standards and practices editor.
Two of the recycled interview clips appeared in online stories. NPR has removed the recycled material and added editor’s notes.
The network did not find ethical violations in 22 stories Karson filed in the ’80s.
In the statement, NPR news executives said that they are “taking steps to ensure” that freelancers “read and understand” its Ethics Handbook. NPR is also requiring reporters to tell editors the dates of interviews included in reports filed for newscasts.
“Also, the processes developed during the investigations of Karson’s work that revealed the recycled material will be employed to spot-check the work done by others who file reports for the network,” the executives said.