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Tuesday, July 31, 2018

10 Best Public Radio Stations


Each week, Charity Navigator brings you a new list of ten organizations working on a particular cause or issue. This week we’re featuring the country’s ten most highly-rated public radio stations. 

These stations are committed to bringing local, national, and global news to listeners in their communities, as well as quality music, entertainment, and educational programming. Plus, they do all this while upholding the highest standards for financial health and accountability and transparency. Is your favorite station on our list?



Hawaii Public Radio (Honolulu, HI)
☆☆☆☆
Educating, informing, and entertaining

In the late 1970s, a group of residents of Hawaii founded a small nonprofit to launch a public radio station for the Hawaiian Islands. Progress was slow at first, but by 1981 the Hawaii Public Radio (HPR) was fully born. Today HPR connects people around the Hawaiian Islands with local news, music, and entertainment programming, as well as programs from NPR and its member stations. The station also sponsors and hosts a number of events to engage its listeners off-air. 

Colorado Public Radio (Centennial, CO)
☆☆☆☆
Enriching the Colorado community with news, information and classical music

Colorado Public Radio (CPR) produces and curates in-depth and meaningful news and music, establishing thoughtful connections to Colorado for listeners seeking to be informed, enlightened and entertained. Know for its CPR News, Classical, and Open Air programs, CPR treats listeners a variety of programs that cover everything from the daily local, national, and global news, to explorations of life, society, technology, and the arts. CPR’s growing newsroom means more reporting and resources for listeners in Colorado and across the country.

Texas Public Radio (San Antonio, TX)
☆☆☆☆ + Impact
Public radio for San Antonio and the Hill Country

Since 1988, Texas Public Radio (TPR) engages in the production and distribution of non-commercial informational, educational, cultural and entertainment content for the people of Texas. The station aims to make Texas one of the best places in the world to listen to public radio because of its musical art, news, civil discourse, and educational programming. Listeners enjoy original programming like Fronteras, Performance Saturday, Texas Matters, and Texas Standard. 

KUOW Puget Sound Public Radio (Seattle, WA)
☆☆☆☆
Creating and serving an informed public

Established in 1952, KUOW Puget Sound Public Radio serves communities in the Puget Sound region, Western Washington, and Southern British Columbia. The station is operated by KUOW under an agreement with the University of Washington. KUOW’s broadcasting center in Seattle’s University District reflects its continued commitment to high quality, locally produced public-service programming. Listeners of the station enjoy original programs and podcasts like KUOW Presents, as well as a number of programs from NPR, its member stations, and the BBC.

Vermont Public Radio (Colchester, VT)
☆☆☆☆
Providing an essential and trusted independent voice for the people of our region

Vermont Public Radio (VPR) has been serving the people of Vermont and the surrounding region since 1977. As Vermont’s only statewide public radio network, VPR provides an essential and trusted independent voice for news, information, music, and cultural exploration. VPR brings listeners a selection of programs from NPR and its member stations, as well as a number of original programs and podcasts.

New York Public Radio (New York, NY)
☆☆☆☆
WNYC and WQXR: Making the mind more curious, the heart more tolerant, and the spirit more joyful

New York Public Radio aims to make the mind more curious, the heart more open, and the soul more joyful through excellent audio programming that is deeply rooted in New York. Through independent journalism, telling stories that matter, leading courageous conversations and celebrating the power of music, the station creates impact -- deeper understanding, richer conversation and more engaged and enlightened communities. NYPR brings listeners original programs and podcasts, as well as programs from NPR, American Public Media, Public Radio International, and the BBC World Service.

Aspen Public Radio (Aspen, CO)
☆☆☆☆
Your news. Your music. Your station.

Aspen Public Radio aims to support, nourish, and enrich Aspen and its surrounding communities by providing informative, entertaining and educational radio and digital programming in a reliable and professional manner. Aspen Public Radio provides full local news, programming from NPR, Public Radio International, American Public Media, and the BBC, as well as a spectrum of original music programs. The station is also the voice of the annual Aspen Music Festival and School.  

Valley Public Radio (Clovis, CA)
☆☆☆☆
NPR news and cultural arts for the Central Valley

Valley Public Radio (VPR) is a leading provider of news, music, and entertainment for California’s San Jaoquin Valley. Founded in 1975, the station seeks to expand listeners’ worlds through voices and sounds that inform and inspire. VPR reaches listeners with local news programs like Valley Edition, as well as music, entertainment, and informational programs from across the country and around the world.

Minnesota Public Radio & American Public Media (St. Paul, MN)
☆☆☆☆
Enriching the mind and nourishing the spirit

Minnesota Public Radio (MPR) is one of the nation’s premier public radio stations producing programming for radio, digital and live audiences and operates a 46-station radio network serving nearly all of Minnesota and part of its surrounding states. Since its beginning as a single classical music station in 1967, MPR has earned nearly 1,000 broadcasting and journalism award. And the station’s national programming division, American Public Media, is one of the largest producers and distributors of public radio programming in the world.

Blue Ridge Public Radio (Asheville, NC)
☆☆☆
Enhancing the quality of life in Western North Carolina

Blue Ridge Public (BPR) claims to be the home of NPR in Western North Carolina. The station provides listeners with original news, music, and entertainment programming along with programs from NPR in an effort to enhance the quality of life in Western North Carolina. BPR seeks to achieve its mission by expanding listeners’ horizons through new perspectives and listening experiences, promoting the free and independent interchange of ideas, and enriching and reflecting the cultural climates, heritage, and traditions of the region.

Your local station isn’t listed here? No problem!

You can use Charity Navigator’s Advanced Search Tool and Discover feature to search for your favorite public radio station (and thousands of other charities) and learn more about their financial health and accountability and transparency.

Written by Ashley Post, Communications Manager at Charity Navigator.

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