NPR Says It Will No Longer Be Active On Twitter After Musk Decides To Label It ‘Government Funded Media’

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Nicole Silverio Media Reporter
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National Public Radio (NPR) quit Twitter on Wednesday after Elon Musk’s Twitter labeled the outlet “government-funded media.”

Twitter initially labeled the outlet’s account “state-affiliated media,” a designation similar to that given to outlets affiliated with Russia and China. The site then changed NPR’s label to “government-funded media” April 8 after the outlet altered its bio to describe itself as an “independent news organization committed to informing the public about the world around us.”

The outlet announced it will “no longer be active” on Twitter because it said the site “falsely” implied its is not “editorially independent.”

“NPR’s organizational accounts will no longer be active on Twitter because the platform is taking actions that undermine our credibility by falsely implying that we are not editorially independent,” the outlet’s statement reads, according to Semafor reporter Max Tani. “We are not putting our journalism on platforms that have demonstrated an interest in undermining our credibility and the public’s understanding of our editorial independence. We are turning away from Twitter but not from our audiences and communities. There are plenty of ways to stay connected and keep up with NPR’s news, music, and cultural content.”

NPR called the “government funded” label “inaccurate and misleading” since the outlet is a “private, nonprofit company with editorial independence,” according to the outlet. NPR reportedly receives less than one percent of its $300 million annual budget provided by the federally funded Corporation for Public Broadcasting. (RELATED: Karine Jean-Pierre Defends ‘Independence Of NPR’s Journalists’ After Twitter Label)

NPR CEO John Lansing said he would never use a website or social media platform that puts the outlet’s credibility at risk, and that leaving Twitter will ensure the outlet’s ability to “produce journalism without ‘a shadow of negativity.'”

“The downside, whatever the downside, doesn’t change that fact,” Lansing said, according to NPR. “I would never have our content go anywhere that would risk our credibility.”

Musk told the BBC on Wednesday that he intends to adjust the BBC’s current “government funded” label to read “publicly funded” instead. He also suggested NPR’s label would be changed as well, but Lansing said the proposed edit would not change the outlet’s decision to depart Twitter.

Nicole Silverio

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