Talking Points:  Mass media, TV industry, music industry, pop culture, racial issues, media ethics, journalism, media technology.

Education: Bachelor of Arts in political science and journalism from IndianaUniversity.


2020 – Distinguished Alumni Service Award, Indiana University

2019 – Excellence in Reporting on Social Issues Award, American Sociological Association

2016 – Distinguished Alumni Award in Journalism, Indiana University Media School

2015 – Legacy award, Tampa Bay Association of Black Journalists.

2013 – Diversity award, Florida Press Club; Legacy award, A&E Task Force, National Assoc. of Black Journalists.

2012 – Salute to Excellence award, Radio Commentary, National Assoc. of Black Journalists; Best A&E Commentary, Society for Features Journalism.

2010 – Finalist, Excellence in Feature Writing, American Association of Sunday and Feature Editors.

Eric Deggans is NPR’s first full-time TV critic and media analyst, providing reviews, feature stories, commentary and guest hosting services for the network’s shows such as Morning Edition and All Things Considered, along with writing for and appearing on NPR podcasts such as Consider This, Life Kit, Code Switch, Pop Culture Happy Hour and It’s Been a Minute.

Eric also is an adjunct instructor of journalism and public policy in the Sanford School of Public Policy at Duke University, a member of the National Advisory Board for the Poynter Institute for Media Studies and chair of the Media Monitoring Committee for the National Association of Black Journalists.

From 2017 to 2021, he served as a contributor/media analyst for MSNBC and NBC News. In April 2021, the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida gave him its Irene Miller Vigilance in Journalism Award. And he was given the Distinguished Alumni Service Award by Indiana University – the institution’s highest alumni honor – in 2020, four years after Indiana University’s Media School of journalism and communications named him a distinguished alumnus.

In 2019, Eric became the first African American to serve as chairman for the jurors who select the George Foster Peabody Awards for excellence in electronic media at the University of Georgia; his one-year tenure capped a total six years he served on the board of jurors. A journalist for more than three decades, Eric 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 fuels some elements of modern media, published in October 2012 by Palgrave Macmillan.

He joined NPR from the Tampa Bay Times newspaper in Florida, where he worked as TV/media critic, a member of the editorial board and pop music critic over 18 years. He also served as an ethics fellow and continues to teach classes at the Poynter Institute, the non-profit school for journalists and communicators which owns the Tampa Bay Times.

Eric guest hosted CNN’s media analysis show Reliable Sources several times in fall 2013, joining a select group of journalists and media critics filling in for departed host Howard Kurtz (Eric appeared on Kurtz’s last show, guest hosted the program three times and then appeared on new host Brian Stelter’s first AND last show). He also joined a prestigious group of contributors to the first ethics book created in a partnership between Craigslist founder Craig Newmark and the Poynter Institute for Media Studies. Developed as Poynter’s first ethics book for the digital age, The New Ethics of Journalism was published in August 2013 by Sage/CQ Press.

In 2017, Eric was named one of the country’s 15 Most Influential Media Reporters by the website Mediaite and in 2009, he was cited as one of Ebony magazine’s “Power 150” – a list of influential black Americans which also included Oprah Winfrey and PBS host Gwen Ifill. He has been honored with awards from the American Sociological Association, the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida, the Society of Professional Journalists and the Florida Press Club.

Eric has also lectured or taught as an adjunct professor at Harvard University’s COOP bookstore, Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, Indiana University, the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg School for Communications, DePaul University, Loyola University, George Washington University, California State University, the University of Southern California, the University of Tampa and many other colleges.

His writing has also appeared in the New York Times online, Ebony magazine, POLITICO, Columbia Journalism Review, ESPN’s The Undefeated website, the Los Angeles Review of Books, Salon magazine,, the Washington Post, Village Voice, VIBE magazine, Emmy magazine, Newsmax magazine, Rolling Stone Online and a host of other newspapers across the country.

Back in 1995, he joined the Tampa Bay Times (then known as the St. Petersburg Times) as its pop music critic; he has also worked at the Asbury Park Press in New Jersey and both the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and Pittsburgh Press newspapers in Pennsylvania. He has also served on the board of directors for the national Television Critics Association and the board of the Mid-Florida Society of Professional Journalists.

BACKGROUND: Born in Washington D.C. but raised in Gary, Ind., Eric began work full time at NPR in 2013 after 18 years at the Tampa Bay Times/St. Petersburg Times. He came to the Times in 1995 after serving as pop music critic for the Asbury Park Press newspaper in New Jersey. He began his journalism career in municipal reporting jobs at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and Pittsburgh Press newspapers in Pennsylvania.


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

Photo credit: Todd Bates
attends The 74th Annual Peabody Awards Ceremony at Cipriani Wall Street on May 31, 2015 in New York City.
Eric covers the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Photo credit: Willie J. Allen Jr.