CNN Reporter Argues Musk Is Threatening Twitter’s Trust By Noting NPR Is Government-Funded

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Brianna Lyman News and Commentary Writer
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CNN media analyst Sara Fischer argued Thursday that Twitter CEO Elon Musk is threatening the public’s trust of Twitter by noting that NPR is government-funded.

Twitter updated its guidelines so it could label NPR as a “state-affiliated media” company. Previous guidelines held “state-financed media organizations with editorial independence, like the BBC in the UK or NPR in the US for example, are not defined as state-affiliated media.” NPR was reclassified as “state-affiliated media,” as it receives grants from government agencies such as the Department of Education and Department of Commerce.

Fischer weighed in, arguing it is a “broader effort by Elon Musk to go after certain media companies he wants to target.”

“So this is happening,” co-host Don Lemon said. “And then you also have Elon Musk removing The New York Times’ blue check. Is he turning off the broader public or a broader, bigger audience than just people who agree with him? And perhaps even trolls?

“I think so, and I think the biggest risk is if you go after certain media outlets without a set of parameters, you can lose a lot of trust in the platform, especially because people leverage Twitter in emergency situations,” Fischer said. “You want to be able to go on the platform and know that the stuff you’re seeing is authoritative.”

“If Elon Musk is going to sort of cherry pick which outlets get amplified, which ones have labels, you risk people not being able to trust Twitter at critical times, and that’s where Twitter does it’s best work,” she added. (RELATED: Karine Jean-Pierre Defends ‘Independence Of NPR’s Journalists’ After Twitter Label)

“And you see Elon Musk also weighing in on the decisions he’s making, like this one NPR but you know they’re what Twitter’s policy is, is that state-affiliated media outlet where the state, the government, exercises control over editorial content through financial resources, direct or indirect political pressures and or control over production,” co-host Kaitlan Collins said. “That’s obviously not NPR, NPR has great journalism. They cover the White House. They cover the hill. They cover everything, they do great work. And so this idea that Twitter is doing this to them, do they leave Twitter? What are NPR’s options here?”

“I don’t think NPR is going to leave Twitter,” Fischer said. “I think media outlets are in this really difficult position…but Twitter continues to be a huge platform for them.”

Fischer added the “antics are crazy.”