National Public Radio (NPR) has announced their decision to exit Twitter following labels which linked the news organization to the US government.
NPR claimed the labeling, specifically “state-affiliated media”, was misleading and undermined the organization’s editorial independence. NPR ceased posting content to its 52 “official” Twitter feeds after the platform was accused of falsely implying the organization was connected with the government. An NPR spokesperson released a statement saying “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.”
NPR stands for freedom of speech & holding the powerful accountable. A vigorous, vibrant free press is essential to the health of our democracy.
My full statement on the recent inaccurate Twitter label below: pic.twitter.com/kdusUNtNUo
— John Lansing (@johnlansing) April 5, 2023
NPR, established thanks to an act by Congress, was previously listed as an exception to the state-affiliated media label. But, six months after change in CEO, Elon Musk, Twitter changed the categorisation and added the label to NPR’s profile. Shortly thereafter, other groups fell under the label, including BBC. NPR has since insisted they are not a government-run organization but acknowledged a portion of its operational fund comes from the federal government.
NPR is US state-affiliated media. pic.twitter.com/WGMrybcO5W
— Tucker Carlson (@TuckerCarlson) April 7, 2023
The White House has supported NPR and released a statement, with President Joe Biden’s press secretary affirming NPR’s “independence” as well as its role in holding public officials accountable. However, supporters of Tucker Carlson on Fox News are among those supporting the decision. John Lansing, CEO of NPR, said NPR will not return to Twitter, despite individual NPR staffers being able to continue tweeting. “I would need some time to understand whether Twitter can be trusted again,” Lansing said.