Open Letter to NPR Affiliate KUOW about NPR's Linking Policy

This is the letter I just sent to the station manager of my Seattle-based NPR affiliate, KUOW. I don't even want to think about how much money I have contributed over the nine years I've lived in Seattle, and they have my records.

To: jwhansen@u.washington.edu

Greetings,

I am not intending to brush KUOW with the same tar that NPR is getting for its Web site linking policy, but as a long-time contributor to KUOW (check your records on me), and a long-time NPR listener, I'm afraid my leverage is all local, not global.

If NPR persists in their nonsensical policy of not allowing links to their Web site without approval (although I realize they cannot enforce this technically, really), then I will have to reconsider my contributions to KUOW, tailoring them to specifically support programs that are not underwritten or sold by NPR.

I hope you will convey to NPR the depth of dissatisfaction by this one listener, at least, and I hope other listener/members have written to you as well.

NPR is misguided, and their ombudsman doesn't understand the issues. Linking to content at a site does not endorse the linking organization. No site on the Web, with the possible exception of Ticketmaster, has ever fought random links to their sites.

There are technological solutions to this problem, including using gateway pages which require a user coming from outside a site to listen to audio to view a page that describes NPR's relation to the outside linker (none) and to the content that follows (owner or licensor).

Thank you very much, and I intend to continue to contribute to KUOW -- just not to your NPR program funds (if that's possible, even) unless they wise up and learn about the issues before taking a stand on them.