->''"This is NPR, the station where we talk very softly, directly into the microphone. Can you hear us? We're right inside your head..."''

National Public Radio, or NPR, is the main non-commercial radio network in the United States, based in UsefulNotes/WashingtonDC. Technically, NPR only creates some of the programming, and the rest -- such as ''Radio/ThisAmericanLife'' and ''Radio/APrairieHomeCompanion'' -- comes from other organizations like Public Radio International and American Public Media, or is locally produced. Still, most people just call it all NPR regardless since, regardless of the distributor, many of these shows appear often on the same public radio stations due to stations being affiliates of multiple distributors.

NPR's style has been famously described by [[WebAnimation/HomestarRunner Strong Bad]] as "smooth and smarmy". It sharply contrasts with the frantic style of commercial all-news stations (traffic every ten minutes!) and [[LargeHamRadio the loudmouths]] of commercial talk radio. Politically, NPR is has a reputation for a liberal bend, but that analysis is disputed. Its most popular programs are the daily morning and evening news shows, ''Morning Edition'' and ''All Things Considered''; many stations fill the intervening time with other news and talk programs of local or regional interest, though some air music (mostly symphonic, opera and jazz; though KCRW's ''Weekend Becomes Eclectic'' is considered the premier indie music showcase in UsefulNotes/LosAngeles, while in UsefulNotes/{{Milwaukee}}, that city's WUWM goes mainly with folk and indie rock for their evening schedule). Late nights either universally consist of either a music format or the Creator/{{BBC}}'s World Service.

Most NPR stations are found between 87.9 and 91.9 FM on American radio dials in what is known as the "educational band" or "left of the dial" for people who still use radios with analog tuners[[note]]Combine that with NPR's aforementioned reputation (along with that of CollegeRadio, found in the same educational band) as a bastion of liberalism in radio, and a common stereotype is that "left of the dial" also means "left of center". Hence, the joke in ''VideoGame/GrandTheftAutoIV'' about that game's NPR parody PLR being "left of the dial... all the way to the left."[[/note]]. Some NPR stations are found on frequencies outside of that range,[[note]]For example, WVGR, Michigan Radio's West Michigan affiliate (it's officially called their Grand Rapids affiliate but it's also the primary NPR broadcaster for other parts of the western region of Michigan's lower peninsula, south to around Battle Creek and Kalamazoo, also north to around Newaygo), broadcasts at 104.1 FM, while WNYC's AM station broadcasts at 93.9 FM.[[/note]] either because the college signed it on the air before the education band was set aside by the FCC, a commercial FM owner decided to donate their station to an educational organization or the public radio network had purchased a repeater station further up the band from another radio company [[note]]an example would be Rhode Island Public Radio, located at 88.7 FM, with a clearer, stronger repeater located all the up at 102.7 FM.[[/note]]. Some stations are also on AM, though this is rare due to sound quality concerns and a higher cost of operation for an AM signal, and mainly limited to heritage stations which have been on AM for years, such as New York's WNYC (which has both AM and FM signals) and WHA in Madison, Wisconsin, which is one of the oldest radio stations in the world.

NPR isn't directly affiliated with Creator/{{PBS}}, but both are partly funded by the quasi-governmental Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and make up the remainder of funds by selling end-of-show sponsor tags and annoying their audiences with pledge drives every few months. Also, many NPR stations are co-owned with local PBS stations, and can have the same callsigns.

[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vxRgNnue-zk Has a rap tribute]]

!! Notable programs:
* ''All Things Considered'' -- Arguably the signature program and began on May 3, 1971, about a month after NPR itself went on the air. Often provides a more in-depth analysis of stories presented in ''Morning Edition''. This 2.5-hour news-discussion program is well known for closing with a segment devoted to arts and culture, often featuring foreign and independent artists.
* ''Radio/AskMeAnother'', a quiz show hosted by Ophira Eisenberg based around puns and wordplay. Music/JonathanCoulton is the show's resident musician, with guests such as Julian Valart and Music/PaulAndStorm standing in for him when he's touring.
* Several programs originated by Creator/TheBBC:
** ''BBC World Service'' -- The world service for BBC Radio. Most often aired at night on NPR and/or PRI affiliates, most of these affiliates carry a small clutch of the programs the World Service offers:
** The standard BBC News broadcast, which is often set up to be an affiliate's overnight programming.
** ''The Forum''
** ''Charlie Gillett's World of Music'', until its host's death.
** ''The World'', a joint PRI/BBC international newsmagazine show produced with Boston affiliate [=WGBH=]. Also has a weekly edition called The Changing World from the same producers and hosts.
** ''Newshour'', a BBC production distributed by PRI.
* ''Radio/CarTalk'' -- Call-in talk show in which two auto mechanic brothers (with MIT Engineering degrees and [[HollywoodNewEngland thick Boston accents]]) ostensibly give advice to callers about cars, but usually instead ramble about brainteasers, pop culture and whatever comes to mind (they do answer about five or six car questions a show, though). The show ended September 2012 as the brothers plan to retire, but NPR affiliates will continue to air reruns remixed to sound like new shows. After the death of older brother Tom in 2014, the show was renamed to ''The Best of Car Talk''.
* Several programs originated from the Creator/{{CBC}} and sydicated by PRI:
** ''Radio/TheVinylCafe'', a variety show hosted featuring up-and-coming Canadian bands as well as monologues and stories from host Stuart [=McLean=] until his death in 2017
** ''q'', a music and culture show featuring interviews and live performances hosted by Canadian rapper Shad.
* ''The Diane Rehm Show'' -- Yet another news-discussion show, produced by UsefulNotes/WashingtonDC NPR affiliate WAMU and the station's owner American University, and hosted by the eponymous Diane Rehm. The show is probably best known for Rehm's crinkly-sounding "old lady" voice, the result of a throat condition called [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spasmodic_dysphonia spasmodic dysphonia]], which she periodically leaves the show to treat. Given that Rehm (born 1936) is now actually an old lady, these departures have been growing in frequency, with the show becoming increasingly reliant on guest hosts in the last few years. It's also one of the more politically partisan shows on NPR; it was controversially singled out for criticism by a UsefulNotes/GeorgeWBush-appointed CPB official, and Rehm herself is willing to argue with guests on the show.
* ''Fresh Air'' -- A long-running interview show hosted by Terry Gross, produced by UsefulNotes/{{Philadelphia}}'s NPR affiliate WHYY. Gross presents new interviews Monday through Thursday and a RecapEpisode on Fridays, presented by David Bianculli or Dave Davies. The interviews usually air for 50 minutes, with the last five to ten given to movie and music reviews and local news. The interviews are generally incisive and engaging, and occasionally get a bit ''too'' interesting, like the time that [[Music/{{KISS}} Gene Simmons]] informed Terry Gross that if she wanted to "welcome me with open arms, you'll have to welcome me with open legs." Or that time when BillOReilly walked out of his interview in a huff. It now has, of all things, a very active [[http://nprfreshair.tumblr.com/ Tumblr]] account run by producer Molly Seavy-Nesper.
* ''Marketplace'' -- A half-hour economics, business and financial news show, produced by American Public Media and the University of Southern California. Usually airs immediately after, or sometimes during, ''All Things Considered''. Notable for use of more hip and/or ironic interstitial music; "doing the numbers" (i.e. reading the the Dow, Nasdaq, and S&P 500 indexes, plus some other stuff) to very identifiable tunes[[note]]Three {{jazz}} standards -- "[[Film/GoldDiggersOf1933 We're In The Money]]" for all indexes up, "Stormy Weather" for all indexes down, "[[Music/DukeEllington It Don't Mean a Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing)]]" of the situation is mixed -- plus the theme song from ''Film/TheGoodTheBadAndTheUgly'' for [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin any situation warrants it]][[/note]]; and for having more corporate sponsors than other public radio shows. Its reports tend to be more focused on broad economics than your typical business show (which tend to focus on business and finance); liberal economist and former Labor Secretary Robert Reich is a regular contributor, as is conservative writer and former UsefulNotes/GeorgeWBush speechwriter David Frum. Also produces an hourlong weekend personal finance show called ''Marketplace Money'', and a short 10-minute segment called the ''Marketplace Morning Report'' that airs on some stations during ''Morning Edition'' instead of or alongside NPR's own Business News segment.
* ''Morning Becomes Eclectic'' and its sister show ''Weekend Becomes Eclectic'' -- A rare nationally-distributed all-music program for NPR, originating from KRCW in Los Angeles. The program features a wide variety of genres, with a focus on world music, folk and indie rock.
* ''Morning Edition'' -- NPR's morning news program. It is the second most listened to radio program in the United States after ''The Radio/RushLimbaugh Show''. Almost nobody listens to both.
* ''NPR News On-The-Hour'' -- The on-the-hour news updates broadcast over all affiliates, even if they don't broadcast the long-form news programs. These are broadcast from NPR's Washington DC home base on the hour (some air from NPR West in Culver City), though they are not heard overnight or on all weekend shows. Most affiliates follow it immediately with local news and/or weather.
* ''On the Media'' -- Pretty much a 'week in review' show which examines the news media in all forms, along with content distribution and a variety of other topics. Hosted by Bob Garfield and Brooke Gladstone and distributed by NPR from WNYC.
* ''Only A Game with Bill Littlefield'', probably the world's only sports radio show hosted by a professor of Journalism. Combines three long-format stories with the usual sports scores and a weekly rundown with Charlie Pierce, who is also a frequent panelist on ''Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me''. Known for its coverage of decidedly non-mainstream sports and the annual segment of Super Bowl Haiku.
* ''Radio/APrairieHomeCompanion'' -- Garrison Keillor's AffectionateParody of old-time RadioDrama and {{Variety Show}}s (he cites the GrandOleOpry as a direct inspiration), produced by Minnesota Public Radio/American Public Media. Features musical performances, private eye spoof ''Guy Noir'', plugs for fake sponsors, and Keillor's monologues about his fictitious hometown of Lake Wobegon, Minnesota. Based in [[UsefulNotes/TwinCities St. Paul, Minnesota]], they also do a few road shows a year. [[Film/APrairieHomeCompanion A film adaptation]] was released in 2006; it was Creator/RobertAltman's final film before his death.
* ''Radio/SaysYou'', a quiz show created and hosted by Richard Sher until [[AuthorExistenceFailure his death]] in 2015. It's more "intellectual" than ''Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me'' or ''Ask Me Another'', but that doesn't stop the puns from flying fast.
* The ''Radio/StarWarsRadioDramas'', a trilogy of radio plays adapted from the first three ''Franchise/StarWars'' films by member station KUSC-FM in 1981, 1983, and 1996.
* ''Talk of the Nation'' -- A news-discussion show, hosted by Neal Conan (and previously by people including [[Radio/ThisAmericanLife Ira Glass]], [[Creator/{{PBS}} Ray Suarez]] and [[FoxNewsLiberal Juan Williams]]). Conan discussed the day's news topics with experts, public figures and reporters, and accepted call-in and e-mail questions and comments from listeners. The number of topics and guests per show varied. On Fridays, the show became ''Talk of the Nation Science Friday'', hosted by Ira Flatow (who is known to PBS viewers as the longtime host of ''Newton's Apple'') and dealing exclusively with scientific topics. The main series ended in 2013 due to Conan leaving the network, but Science Friday continues to air as simply ''Science Friday''.
* ''Radio/ThisAmericanLife'' -- An award-winning documentary series hosted by Ira Glass. Each week's show examines a particular theme, and then tells several non-fiction stories pertaining to that theme. As stated earlier, it's not actually produced by NPR, but by UsefulNotes/{{Chicago}} Public Radio, and distributed by Public Radio International. Was successful enough to get a SoundToScreenAdaptation on Creator/{{Showtime}}; it was cancelled, but not because of low ratings--the ''TAL'' team came to realize they just couldn't do both a TV show and a radio show at the same time. Several live shows have been done, including, more recently, live digital broadcasts to movie theaters. They have since spawned a podcast-only {{spinoff}} in the form of the insanely-successful ''Podcast/{{Serial}}''.
* ''[[http://thistleradio.com/ The Thistle & Shamrock]]'': A long-running Celtic music program hosted by Fiona Ritchie, originally produced by member station WFAE out of Charlotte, North Carolina. According to Ritchie, a native Scotswoman, the genesis of the show was the realization that there were a lot of similarities between Appalachian folk music and the Scots tunes she grew up with (which makes sense considering the number of Scots who settled there). Reportedly the most-listened-to Celtic music show in the world.
* ''Radio/WaitWaitDontTellMe'' -- The rare American PanelGame, based loosely on the British ''News Quiz'' and hosted by Peter Sagal. Aside from the regular rotating panelists, the show also includes call-in games and, OnceAnEpisode, "Not My Job", in which a celebrity, politician or other newsmaker calls in to the show and has to answer questions that fall well outside his or her area of expertise. (Think Creator/StephenKing on [[TastesLikeDiabetes cute fluffy things]].)
* ''World Cafe'' -- Like ''Morning Becomes Eclectic'', this is one of the few all-music shows to be syndicated nationwide by NPR. The program orginates from WXPN (which actually ''isn't'' an NPR affiliate, but [[CollegeRadio the station for the University of Pennsylvania]]). It mostly skews toward performances and interviews by popular indie rock bands, but just as often has live performances by various world musicians.

!!NPR programs with their own pages:
* ''Radio/AllThingsConsidered''
* ''Radio/AskMeAnother''
* ''Radio/CarTalk''
* ''Radio/APrairieHomeCompanion''
* ''Radio/StarWarsRadioDramas''
* ''Radio/WaitWaitDontTellMe''