Journalist who accused NPR of liberal bias resigns from the network

Uri Berliner attends the 76th Annual Peabody Awards Ceremony in 2017 in New York City.
Uri Berliner resigned Wednesday from NPR.
(JP Yim / WireImage via Getty Images)

Uri Berliner, the veteran NPR journalist who publicly accused his employer of liberal bias, has resigned from the network.

Berliner posted a message Wednesday on the social media platform X with his resignation letter to the public broadcaster’s chief executive Katherine Maher.

“I am resigning from NPR, a great American institution where I have worked for 25 years,” Berliner wrote. “I don’t support calls to defund NPR. I respect the integrity of my colleagues and wish for NPR to thrive and do important journalism. But I cannot work in a newsroom where I am disparaged by a new CEO whose divisive views confirm the very problems I cite in my Free Press essay.”


Berliner, a business editor at the network, was suspended last Friday, four days after the appearance of an April 9 opinion piece for the Substack newsletter the Free Press. His essay said NPR is catering to “a distilled worldview of a very small segment of the U.S. population.” The overall thrust of the piece asserted that NPR has “lost America’s trust.”

Berliner was suspended for five days for violating NPR’s policy requiring management to clear any work produced for another media outlet.

Berliner’s essay said he voted against former President Trump in 2016 and 2020 but that he believes progressive advocacy seeped into the network’s coverage of Trump and other topics such as the Israel-Hamas war, the origins of COVID-19 and the contents of Hunter Biden’s abandoned laptop.

Berliner’s polemic was promoted by conservative critics of NPR, which led to the resurfacing of politically charged social media posts from Maher.

Maher, who took over as NPR’s chief executive in January, expressed her disdain for Trump in a number of tweets, including one 2020 post in which she called him a racist.

NPR issued a statement Tuesday calling the resurfaced tweets a coordinated attempt to damage the network.


“This is a bad faith attack that follows an established playbook, as online actors with explicit agendas work to discredit independent news organizations,” the network said. “In this case, they resorted to digging up old tweets and making conjectures based on our new CEO’s resume. Spending time on these accusations is intended to detract from NPR’s mission of informing the American public and providing local information in communities around the country is more important than ever.”

Maher previously headed the nonprofit Wikimedia Foundation, which operates Wikipedia, and has no previous experience in journalism.

She did not respond to Berliner by name, but defended NPR’s performance in a letter to staff made public last week.

“Questioning whether our people are serving our mission with integrity, based on little more than the recognition of their identity, is profoundly disrespectful, hurtful, and demeaning,” Maher wrote.

NPR had no comment on Berliner’s resignation.