Mission & History


JPR feeds the human intellectual and creative spirit of Southern Oregon and Northern California communities while building a diverse, tolerant community of informed globally aware citizens through fact-based journalism and programs that stimulate civic discourse, inspire community engagement, celebrate music and foster the art of storytelling.


Jefferson Public Radio's flagship station, KSOR, was established in 1969 on the campus of Southern Oregon University (SOU) in Ashland, Oregon. From a tiny 10-watt station, KSOR evolved to become a regional public radio service reaching over 1 million potential listeners in a 60,000-square-mile area of Southern Oregon and Northern California via one of the largest networks of transmitters and translators in public radio.

This network now goes by the name Jefferson Public Radio (JPR), making reference to the mythical State of Jefferson, which roughly corresponds to the listening area served by JPR. JPR is owned and operated by Southern Oregon University and extends the University's educational mission by promoting lifelong learning and fostering the intellectual growth and civic engagement of the region.

JPR broadcasts radio programming that is not available via commercial media.  This programming seeks to:

Enhance the quality of community dialogue about regional, state, national and international civic issues by presenting in-depth, fact-based news and public affairs programming.

Make available music that otherwise would not be available on the radio. JPR is the primary source of classical music, jazz, world music, folk and blues in the region it serves.

Provide cultural programming that celebrates the human experience. Programs like A Prairie Home Companion, Car Talk, The Moth Radio Hour, Radiolab and This American Life reflect the American experience in a way that is valuable to our culture.

In 1975, the KSOR Listeners' Guild was formed as an affiliate of what was then known as the Southern Oregon College Foundation.  In 1997, a new non-profit organization was formed called the JPR Foundation dedicated exclusively to raising funds to support JPR's mission and service to the community.  The JPR Foundation enjoys tax-exempt status under IRS Section 501(c)(3) and is governed by a Board of Directors which oversees its activities.

JPR is a member of National Public Radio, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Western States Public Radio, the Northwest News Network, Earthfix and is an affiliate of Public Radio International, American Public Media, Native Voice One and the Toll Brothers-Metropolitan Opera International Radio Network.