NPR Ditches Twitter Following ‘State-Affiliated Media’ Label
In a move that according to Financial Times is the first of its kind, the state-sponsored National Public Radio has announced it will no longer utilize Twitter, a week after the platform deemed it “US state-affiliated media.”
A statement released by NPR Wednesday indicated that the taxpayer-funded outlet was unhappy about its initial categorization as “US state-affiliated media” and later “government-funded media,” prompting its decision to no longer participate on the social media giant.
“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,” chief executive John Lansing said to staff on Wednesday.
“It would be a disservice to the serious work you all do here to continue to share it on a platform that is associating the federal charter for public media with an abandoning of editorial independence or standards,” stated Lansing.
The statement alleged that Twitter is undermining its credibility by “falsely implying” the U.S. government-funded outlet does not make editorial decisions in a completely independent manner.
Lansing also argued that attempts by Twitter or any other social media platform to “tarnish the independence” of public media outlets, which in the case of Twitter was simply pointing out they are by definition state-affiliated, are “exceptionally harmful” and establish a “dangerous precedent.”
Twitter defines “state-affiliated media” accounts as “outlets where the state exercises control over editorial content through financial resources, direct or indirect political pressures, and/or control over production and distribution.” It provides a very similar definition for “government-funded media,” writing, “outlets where the government provides some or all of the outlet’s funding and may have varying degrees of government involvement over editorial content.”
Various social media accounts have shared memes on Twitter intending to poke fun at NPR after its announced exit:
This news comes as a popular viral social media moment showed Twitter CEO Elon Musk ‘destroying’ an ill-prepared BBC reporter during an interview, accusing him of lying about so-called hate speech recently becoming more prominent on the platform.
NPR appeared to engage in damage control following the exchange; an article from the outlet about its skedaddle from Twitter featured a headline reading, “Musk proves conciliatory and erratic in BBC interview.” Left out of the write-up is any mention of the viral moment seen above.