About the Guide

PRNDG is sponsored by PRNDI
PRNDG is sponsored by PRNDI


elcome to the Public Radio News Directors Guide, the first and only manual for public radio news managers in the United States.

The PRNDG seeks to improve public service journalism by

  • Defining the roles and responsibilities of News Directors
  • Promoting best-practices in local news management
  • Allowing users to share “recipes” for success
  • Providing a “tool kit” repository for research, case studies, work samples, reusable templates, how-to advice, and links to other resources.

How to Use the Guide

The PRNDG site is versatile. You can approach it three main ways:

Read Like a Book

If you’d like to read the guide from the beginning (or by chapter), simply click on the chapter heading on the main menu. Read the text in the main viewing window on the left side of the screen. After scrolling through the page, click the “next page” button (at the top and bottom of the page). In this way, you can proceed through the entire narrative portion of the guide. Start reading →

Browse as a Directory

If you have a general area of interest, use the menu system to isolate the section that would most likely cover your topic. The guide is organized in six chapters plus the “Field Kit.” The menu across the top is similar to the “Contents at a Glance” in the right sidebar. You can click on either. The menus help locate content, offer instant shortcuts, or just remind you where you are in the overall site. Start browsing →

Search by Keyword

If you have a specific concern, type one or more keywords into the search box in the upper right window on the screen. Use quotation marks if you want to find an exact match. The search function begins while you are typing and will list results as clickable page titles. Start searching →

The Guide’s Origins

The guide began as a joint project of NPR’s Local News Initiative and Public Radio News Directors, Inc. (PRNDI).

It took two years to bring the guide to its original launch in late 2008. It was updated for its fifth anniversary in 2013.

From the guide’s author, Michael V. Marcotte

Michael Marcotte
Michael Marcotte

I hope you’ll find this a helpful place.

The PRNDG hopes to serve the diverse needs of local news directors by sharing the common ground — those ideals and practices that apply to all of us, regardless of newsroom size.

I’d like to extend a personal thanks to Marcia Alvar and Dana Davis-Rehm at NPR for their founding support of the project; to PRNDI presidents Jonathan Ahl and George Bodarky for advancing it; to Andrew Phelps for producing the original site; and to more than 100 news directors and colleagues who offered content, ideas or encouragement.

As this guide is updated for 2014, it is heartening to note that fundamentals of excellent public service journalism remain constant… even as winds of change swirl around us.

Here’s to excellence in public media!

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