WASHINGTON – Responding to perceived listener need, National Public Radio (NPR) today released Pledge, an iPhone and Android app that allows dedicated listeners to pledge to their local NPR station with the press of a single button.
“We’re sure it’s not out of stinginess, laziness, indifference, lack of funds, or disapproval of the listener-funded model that people aren’t pledging to NPR,” explains Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep. “We are sure the problem is the difficulty of surfing to NPR.org and clicking on the word ‘pledge.’”
“This may also allow us to shorten fund drives,” Inskeep adds, “although that move is being fought by local program managers seeking to save a few bucks on special reports, as well as those with a particularly sadistic bent.”
“Pledge can also be used by travelers to donate to stations anywhere they are visiting in the U.S.,” says app creator Belton Credwick, “since it automatically credits your pledge to the NPR affiliate nearest to the your current location. If you’re in broadcast range of more than one station, simply hold your phone up to the radio and Pledge will determine which one you’re listening to. Unless you hold it up to a Clear Channel station, in which case it will empty your bank account and send it all to Cokie Roberts and Sylvia Poggioli.”
Barring that unfortunate occurrence, the app will determine the amount of the pledge by opening the listener’s Quicken or Microsoft Money file and applying a sophisticated algorithm to the observed level of unbudgeted spending. “By ‘sophisticated’ we basically mean ‘confiscatory,’” admits Credwick. Listeners without Quicken or Money budgeting software will be pledged at the Platinum level.
PBS is investigating the app for its own use.
Copyright © 2012 Alex Riggle. All Rights Reserved.