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Key links:
Primary website:
pri.org
Primary Twitter:
@PRI

Editor’s Note: Encyclo has not been regularly updated since August 2014, so information posted here is likely to be out of date and may be no longer accurate. It’s best used as a snapshot of the media landscape at that point in time.

Public Radio International is a U.S. producer and distributor of public radio programming owned by the Boston public broadcaster WBGH.

Minneapolis-based PRI partners with stations to produce news/talk programs including The Takeaway, Studio 360, and The World. It distributes such programs as the BBC World Service to some 800 stations. In June 2011, it reported 50 employees and $24 million in annual revenue. It also distributed This American Life for 17 years until 2014.

PRI, originally called American Public Radio, was founded in 1983 as a cooperative of stations aiming to compete with NPR. PRI was bought by WBGH, a former American Public Radio affiliate, in July 2012.

In the early 2000s, MPR withdrew its programming from PRI’s distribution and formed a competitor, American Public Media, to distribute A Prairie Home Companion and Marketplace.

In April 2008, PRI and co-producer WNYC debuted The Takeaway, a morning news/talk program designed to compete with NPR’s Morning Edition. The show’s creators intended to “break out from the medium’s conventionally packaged sound” and created a website that emphasizes listener engagement. The Takeaway shares editorial resources with the BBC, The New York Times, and WGBH.

In March 2011, PRI and the Center for Public Integrity announced plans to build a 50-state corruption risk index, with plans to hire an investigative reporter in each state.

PRI has a free iPhone app that offers live and in-demand access to audio segments and full programs.

The fact-checking process of PRI’s show This American Life came under scrutiny after it was forced to retract a popular episode on abuses in Chinese factories producing Apple products when it discovered that significant portions of story were fabricated. Its retraction episode was, however, its most downloaded episode ever at the time.

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Primary author: Andrew Phelps. Main text last updated: March 27, 2014.
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