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About Our Journalism

Our local news reporting focuses on:

  • The environment and our natural resources, including the Great Lakes.
  • Climate change, and the people and organizations working to address it.
  • Rural life — the richness and joy of our unique location, and the challenges it brings, especially issues of access and inequity.
  • The arts and how they define our region and help us all understand and appreciate our neighbors.
  • State government, through the Michigan Public Radio Network’s Lansing bureau.

That doesn’t mean those are the only things we cover, but it’s where we spend a lot of our energy.

How do you decide what to cover?

We look for stories that impact northern Michigan, where something is surprising and something is at stake. Our goal is to provide you with new perspectives and information that matter to your daily life.

We place a premium on stories that add light, not heat, to an issue — and on making important things interesting, not the other way around.

And we look for regional impact. If something is happening in Traverse City, why should a listener in Manistee be interested, or vice versa? What are the common themes of a story that matter to everyone who might hear it?

What ethics and professional standards do you follow?

IPR has its own code of ethics that all newsroom personnel adhere to. Our decision-making is also guided by the ethics code of the Society of Professional Journalists, which is the most widely used in our profession. And we refer to the NPR Ethics Handbook. These codes largely echo each other, but the NPR guide in particular addresses situations we're likely to encounter as audio journalists.

Corrections, news tips and other feedback

We welcome your thoughts, including story tips about news in northern Michigan, especially the subjects we mentioned above. You can:

  • Call the newsroom: 231-276-4415
  • Fill out the form below to send us an e-mail:

Are you a freelancer hoping to pitch a story to IPR News?

We accept pitches from freelance journalists. Anyone doing freelance work for IPR News must follow our code of ethics, including operating with transparency and being free of conflicts of interest in the material they cover. How to pitch to IPR News (PDF).

OTHER FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

How can I hear the news?

Local newscasts air weekday mornings at 7:04, 8:04 and 9:04 a.m., and weekday afternoons at 4:04, 5:04 and 6:04 p.m. We're on FM radio, streaming and in the IPR app.

Get IPR newscasts on demand through the NPR App.

Do you have podcasts?

Do we ever!

The Up North Lowdown is a compilation of each week’s reporting from our newsroom, including feature stories and interviews. It comes out every Saturday at 6 a.m.

Points North uses brilliant storytelling and captivating audio to tell the stories of the land, water and inhabitants of the Great Lakes.

And Classical IPR has In Studio A, highlighting performances recorded here at IPR, and Classical Sprouts, a classical music podcast for younger listeners!

Who even are you?

If you're reading this in northern Michigan, we are your neighbors.

Our professional journalists live and work right here in northern Michigan. Some of us grew up here. Others found northern Michigan later in life. All of us are invested in making sure our community thrives, and we contribute to that effort through excellent journalism.

Our news department includes seven people: A news director, a host and executive producer for Points North, three reporters and a producer.

Learn more about our staff.

What’s the difference between NPR and IPR?

Interlochen Public Radio (IPR) is a member of NPR (which you might know as National Public Radio). That means we pay fees to NPR to air its programming, including Morning Edition, All Things Considered and other shows.

But beyond that, we're two autonomous organizations. IPR makes its own decisions about what its journalists will cover, as does NPR.

IPR was founded in 1963. When NPR came along in 1971, we were one of its first members. Read more about our history here.

So, wait, everything comes from NPR, right? Like, all public radio can be called "NPR?"

We get programs from a lot of different sources. NPR might be the best known, but there's also:

  • American Public Media, which provides us with shows like Marketplace, and The Splendid Table. APM also acts as the distributor for the BBC in the United States, bringing you NewsHour and the BBC World Service.
  • PRX, the Public Radio Exchange, which distributes programs like This American Life, Reveal, Latino USA and Snap Judgment.
  • Native Voice One, which provides us with National Native News, heard weekdays at 1:01 p.m.

There are other organizations that provide us with programming, too.

How are you funded?

The biggest part of our budget comes from the contributions of individual listeners. We have just over 4,000 donors whose gifts comprise 74% of our budget. Of those individual donors, more than 40% give monthly as IPR Sustainers.

We ask for contributions through our website, direct communications and, a few times a year, in on-air fund drives.

About 13% of our budget comes from corporate underwriting — those announcements you hear that begin with "Support for IPR comes from ..."

The final 13% comes from a grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. CPB gets its money from a Congressional appropriation.

And it's worth noting that none of our contributors — be they individuals, corporate underwriters or the Corporation for Public Broadcasting — plays any role in deciding what the newsroom will cover.

What's your relationship to Interlochen Center for the Arts?

Interlochen Center for the Arts owns our broadcast license and facilities, and our staff is employed by Interlochen. We're proud to be part of this creative community of artists, learners and teachers, and to have been part of its storied history for more than six decades. (And yes, we wear those handsome blue uniforms in the summer.)

We also have protections in place to ensure our editorial independence. From our ethics policy: "IPR staff maintains editorial control of its content. Station staff decides what makes a compelling or newsworthy story, interview or performance for its audiences, how to approach any topic and what details to include or omit."