NPR President Vivian Schiller said Monday that her organization's dismissal of analyst Juan Williams last October over remarks he made about Muslims was handled "badly."

But she described the fallout as a "learning experience" and, without going into detail, said the "process issues" surrounding that incident have been fixed.

Schiller, recapping a turbulent year in which NPR's audience grew but it also faced mounting criticism, offered a robust defense of the broadcaster and vowed to improve its internal standards while reaching out to a broader audience. She rejected charges of bias and, as Republican lawmakers target Schiller's organization for funding cuts, stressed the importance of taxpayer funding for the public radio network.

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