MacArthur Fellows Program

William H. Siemering

Journalist and Radio Producer | Class of 1993

Journalist and Radio Producer
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
59 at time of award
Published July 1, 1993

About Bill's Work

Bill Siemering, a journalist, was a central figure in the creation of National Public Radio (NPR), writing the mission statement and goals that set it on a creative, responsible path to serve the American public.

The four precepts Siemering articulated for public radio programming are: excellent writing, imaginative production, authentic approach outside of the studio, and conversational style.  As NPR’s first director of programming, he developed the time-honored “All Things Considered,” and other original programs such as “Fresh Air” and “Soundprint.”  Believing that media properly used is essential to a civil society, he has worked to assist in the development of community radio in South Africa and led international organizations devoted to raising the standards of journalism around the world.


Siemering is the president of Developing Radio Partners, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to supporting independent radio stations in countries transitioning to democracy through professional development in journalism, programming, station management, and finance.  He is the former president of the International Center for Journalists in Washington, D.C., an organization that trains overseas journalists.

Siemering received a B.S. (1956) and an M.S. (1960) from the University of Wisconsin.

Last updated January 1, 2005

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