NPR officially departs Twitter after being labeled ‘government-funded media’

We may look at NPR as a pioneer at some point down the line.

That’s because the publicly supported news organization just abandoned Twitter, becoming one of the biggest outlets to do so to this point. The move came after Twitter (which you may have heard is now under the stewardship of Elon Musk) unexpectedly added a “government-funded media” label to NPR’s Twitter page(Opens in a new tab) last week.

In a statement(Opens in a new tab), NPR CEO John Lansing said Twitter unfairly accused NPR of not having editorial independence with the label.

“Millions of Americans depend on NPR and their local public radio stations for the fact-based, independent, public service journalism they need to stay informed about the world and about their own communities. They depend on your work, the rigorous reporting they need to exercise their rights as citizens and the music and entertainment that brings them moments of joy. 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.”

It’s easy to understand why NPR would abandon Twitter because of this. The label, which originally read “state-affiliated media” before being changed over the weekend, is not accurate. Only one percent of NPR’s annual budget comes from the government, per NPR itself(Opens in a new tab). From NPR’s perspective, that label can only erode public trust in the institution by associating it with news organizations that might publish unconcealed propaganda.

This could be a unique one-off situation, but don’t be shocked if, over time, more and more news outlets abandon Twitter like this.

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