Announcing the 2016 Flora Distinguished Visiting Journalist

National Public Radio personality and longtime journalist Stephen Thompson will be the 2016 Flora Distinguished Visiting Journalist at Whitworth University.


Stephen Thompson is an editor and reviewer for NPR Music, where he writes the advice column The Good Listener, fusses over the placement of commas and appears as a frequent panelist on All Songs Considered. Since 2010, Thompson has been a fixture on the weekly NPR roundtable podcast Pop Culture Happy Hour, which he created and developed with NPR correspondent Linda Holmes. In 2008, he and Bob Boilen created the NPR Music video series Tiny Desk Concerts, in which musicians perform at Boilen’s desk.

In 1993, Thompson founded The Onion’s entertainment section, The A.V. Club, which he edited until December 2004. In the years since, he has provided music-themed commentaries for the NPR programs Weekend Edition Sunday, All Things Considered and Morning Edition. During his tenure at The Onion, Thompson edited the 2002 book The Tenacity Of The Cockroach: Conversations With Entertainment’s Most Enduring Outsiders (Crown) and copy-edited six best-selling comedy books.

As the Flora Distinguished Visiting Journalist, Thompson will deliver the keynote speech at the 2016 J-Day East high school journalism conference, co-sponsored by the Washington Journalism Education Association, on October 31. On November 1, he will teach a master class, meet with students and deliver a public lecture for the Whitworth and greater Spokane community at 7 p.m. in 223 Johnston Hall.

The Flora Distinguished Visiting Journalist appointment is made possible thanks to the Lou Flora Memorial Fund, which was established in 1997 to honor Lou Flora, a longtime friend of the Whitworth Communication Studies Department, and to recognize his commitment to rewarding excellence in communications among Whitworth students. For more information about Thompson’s visit, please contact Dr. Erica Salkin at

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