NPR raises concerns about firing of Tennessee reporter

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Top editors at National Public Radio are challenging the firing of an affiliate reporter who covered meetings between Tennessee high school students discussing LGBT issues with Republican lawmakers.

Jacqui Helbert was dismissed from her job at WUTC-FM after legislators said she didn’t identify herself as a reporter. The station’s license is held by the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. Her firing raised questions about whether legislators, who control the university’s funding, pressured the school into dismissing her. Legislators disputed those allegations.

NPR news director Michael Oreskes and standards editor Mark Memmott say the reporter should’ve announced herself but that her editors didn’t consider that mistake a firing offense, and that should be a decision left to them, not the university.