NPR’s decisions to air, and then not to air, Mumia Abu-Jamal’s death-row commentaries might yet take another turn. The network is committed to airing prisoners’ voices — perhaps Abu-Jamal’s, in a form different from the stand-alone commentaries originally planned, NPR Vice President Bill Buzenberg said Wednesday. “I see this as a decision to pull back” and “postpone,” he said. “We’ll make other editorial decisions down the road.”
The silence from prisons allows a public hysterical about crime to maintain its stereotyped image
of prisoners and not think about them as complex human beings, says Sussman. The NPR-distributed Fresh Air interview program, meanwhile, may hire an inmate commentator (separate story below).