After twelve years as the host of radio news show, ‘All Things Considered’, Audie Cornish is giving her notice. This past Tuesday, Cornish took to Twitter to announce her departure from the station.
“I love my job,” she wrote. “I love the listeners of NPR and the people who make it. Alongside that truth, I am ready to stretch my wings and try something new.”
If you’re an NPR nerd like myself, you’ve become more than familiar with the voice of Audie Cornish over the years. She began as a desk reporter for the nonprofit media organization in 2005, and by 2012 she was offered the role as host of the flagship news program.
According to NPR and their description of the program and their hosts:
“During each broadcast, stories and reports come to listeners from NPR reporters and correspondents based throughout the United States and the world,” the website reads. “The hosts interview newsmakers and contribute their own reporting. Rounding out the mix are the disparate voices of a variety of commentators.”
Among the “diverse” collective of hosts is Ari Shapiro, who stated that while he was unavailable for comment during his vacation, tweeted that “If NPR doesn’t see this as a crisis, I don’t know what it’ll take.”
The crisis Shapiro is referring to, is the number of minority identified reporters who have made the decision to resign from NPR within the last year. In an earlier tweet Shapiro stated:
“I’ll sing Audie’s praises to the end of time but refer you to [Isabel Lara, NPR’s chief communications officer] at NPR comms for comment on why we’re hemorrhaging hosts from marginalized backgrounds.”
While Cornish has not commented directly on what led to her decision to quit, what seems to be made clear is that the driving force behind it is how she and other women of color have been undervalued and mistreated during their tenure.
“I can’t speak for all POC – but I want to be clear. I do not have to,” Cornish wrote. “Our experiences at the company vary and there are some common threads.”
According to CBS News, women are leading the movement for individuals to leave their places of employment, now known as “The Great Resignation”, with a large percentage being women of color. They report that “About one in three women said they have considered either leaving the workforce or downshifting their career in 2021, compared with one in four at the start of the pandemic.”
In support of Audie Cornish, Isabel Lara tweeted, “I’m proud & happy that WOC journalists are finally getting terrific offers & choices that used to be reserved for white men. I’m also excited about the young people coming up the ranks: passionate about audio & our mission. We need to work on retention & growth paths for them.”