Eric Deggans is NPR’s first full-time TV critic, crafting stories and commentaries for the network’s shows, such as “Morning Edition,” “Here & Now” and “All Things Considered,” along with writing material for NPR.org. For a week on “The Authentic Comedic Voice,” he takes the Amphitheater stage to explore the evolution of Black comedy on TV.
In addition to his NPR work, Deggans is a contributor and media analyst for MSNBC and NBC News and an adjunct instructor of journalism and public policy in the Sanford School of Public Policy at Duke University. A journalist for three decades, he is also the author of Race-Baiter: How the Media Wields Dangerous Words to Divide a Nation. Prior to joining NPR in 2013, Deggans worked at the Tampa Bay Times as TV/Media Critic and in other roles for nearly 20 years. He originally joined the paper as its pop music critic in November 1995; he has also worked at the Asbury Park Press in New Jersey and both the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and Pittsburgh Press.
In 2019, Deggans became the first African American to serve as chairman for the board of educators, journalists and media experts who select the George Foster Peabody Awards for excellence in electronic media at the University of Georgia. In August 2019, he was honored with American Sociological Association’s Excellence in the Reporting of Social Issues Award. He currently serves as chair of the Media Monitoring Committee for the National Association of Black Journalists.
Deggans graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in political science and journalism from Indiana University where, in 2020, he was given the Distinguished Alumni Service Award— the institution’s highest alumni honor.
This program is made possible by the Beverly and Bruce Conner Endowment for Education.