If you don’t agree to their tracking ….
…then you have the option to see their content in plain text, which is hosted on a separate subdomain, text.npr.org.
I find I only access NPR now through plain text. The pages are made from straight forward HTML, no loading of any other files or snippets, and are therefore as fast as can be. A breath to read, no distraction etc.
NPR’s plain text news page
NPR plain text article
Only HTML, here NPR’s news page in full. No frills, so very fast
The only downside might be that without imagery, self-starting videos, distracting calls to action and ads, you might notice that a lot of news stories are without much informational content. You can’t blame NPR for that, because news itself as a format has worn a bit thin. GDPR and AdTech (not advertising) are at extreme odds. I like the look of AdTech being stripped away, even if it makes the early 1990’s web fashionably Retro.
I wish more sites would offer the ‘get tracked or get text’ option.