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Eric Deggans

TV Critic — NPR

Eric Deggans is NPR's first full-time TV critic.

Deggans came to NPR in 2013 from the Tampa Bay Times, where he served a TV/Media Critic and in other roles for nearly 20 years. A journalist for more than two decades, he is also the author of Race-Baiter: How the Media Wields Dangerous Words to Divide a Nation, a look at how prejudice, racism and sexism fuel some elements of modern media. The book was published in October 2012 by Palgrave Macmillan.

Deggans guest hosted CNN's media analysis show Reliable Sources in fall 2013, joining a select group of journalists and media critics filling in for departed host Howard Kurtz. That year, he also earned the Florida Press Club's first-ever Diversity Award, honoring his coverage of issues involving race and media. He received the Legacy Award from the National Association of Black Journalists' A&E Task Force, an honor bestowed to "seasoned A&E journalists who are at the top of their careers." Deggans also serves on the board of educators, journalists, and media experts who select the George Foster Peabody Awards for excellence in electronic media.

Deggans additionally has joined a prestigious group of contributors to the first ethics book created in conjunction with the Poynter Institute for Media Studies for journalism's digital age: The New Ethics of Journalism, published in August 2013 by Sage/CQ Press.

He has won reporting and writing awards from the Society for Features Journalism, American Association of Sunday and Feature Editors, the Society of Professional Journalists, the Florida Press Club, and the Florida Society of News Editors. In 2010, Deggans made national headlines interviewing former USDA official Shirley Sherrod at the NABJ's summer convention in San Diego, leading a panel discussion that was covered by many major cable news outlets and network TV morning shows.

Named in 2009 as one of Ebony magazine's "Power 150," Deggans was selected to lecture at Columbia University's prestigious Graduate School of Journalism in 2008 and 2005. He has lectured or taught as an adjunct professor at Loyola University, California State University, Indiana University, University of Tampa, Eckerd College, and many other institutions.

His writing has also appeared in The New York Times online, Salon magazine,, The Washington Post, the Village Voice, VIBE magazine, the Chicago Tribune, the Detroit Free Press, the Chicago Sun-Times, the Seattle Times, Emmy magazine, Newsmax magazine, Rolling Stone Online, and a host of other publications across the country.

From 2004 to 2005, Deggans sat on the then-St. Petersburg Times editorial board and wrote bylined opinion columns. From 1997 to 2004, he worked as TV critic for the Times, crafting reviews, news stories, and long-range trend pieces on the state of the media industry both locally and nationally. He originally joined the paper as its pop music critic in November 1995 and previously worked at the Asbury Park Press in New Jersey and both the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and the Pittsburgh Press in Pennsylvania.

Now serving as chair of the Media Monitoring Committee for the National Association of Black Journalists, Deggans has also served on the board of directors for the national Television Critics Association and on the board of the Mid-Florida Society of Professional Journalists.

Additionally, he worked as a professional drummer in the 1980s, touring and performing with Motown recording artists The Voyage Band throughout the Midwest and in Osaka, Japan. He continues to perform with area bands and recording artists as a drummer, bassist, and vocalist.

Deggans earned a bachelor's in political science and journalism from the IU College of Arts and Sciences in 1990.

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