We need your help now

Support from readers like you keeps The Journal open.

You are visiting us because we have something you value. Independent, unbiased news that tells the truth. Advertising revenue goes some way to support our mission, but this year it has not been enough.

If you've seen value in our reporting, please contribute what you can, so we can continue to produce accurate and meaningful journalism. For everyone who needs it.

Twitter attached a "Government-funded' label on NPR's account NPR/Twitter
national public radio

US broadcaster NPR leaves Twitter over new 'government-funded' labels

National Public Radio is quitting Twitter over the social media company’s recent actions to stamp it with labels

THE UNITED STATES’ non-profit media organisation National Public Radio is quitting Twitter over the social media company’s recent actions to stamp it with labels the group says are meant to undermine its credibility.

“NPR’s organisational 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,” NPR said in a statement today.

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

Last week, Twitter labelled NPR’s main account as “state-affiliated media” on the Elon Musk-owned social media site, a label also used to identify media outlets that are controlled or heavily influenced by authoritarian governments.

Twitter later changed the label to “government-funded media” and also attached it to the BBC.

In an interview with the BBC last night, Musk said, “Our goal is simply to be as truthful and accurate as possible. I think we’re adjusting the [BBC] label to be ‘publicly funded’, which I think is not too objectionable. We’re trying to be accurate.”

Musk told tech reporter James Clayton the interviewer that Twitter plans on changing the label soon and said it will “probably be okay” to use the same language that the BBC uses to describe itself as the social media company is “trying to be as accurate as possible”.

Musk made no comment in the interview about NPR’s label being altered or removed.

NPR’s main account had not tweeted since 4 April. Today, it sent a series of tweets listing other places to find its journalism.

Chief communications officer Isabel Lara said, “NPR journalists and employees will decide on their own if they wish to remain on the platform, same for NPR member stations as they’re independently owned and operated.”

NPR does receive US government funding through grants from federal agencies and departments, along with the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

The company said it accounts for less than 1% of NPR’s annual operating budget.

Twitter’s new labels have often appeared arbitrarily assigned. It tagged NPR with the “state-affiliated” label after Musk participated in a public conversation about the media group on Twitter.

Since then, it has given NPR, the BBC and some other groups a “government-funded” label but has not done the same for many other public media outlets, such as their counterparts in Canada and Australia.

Additional Reporting by Muiris O’Cearbhaill

Press Association
Your Voice
Readers Comments
This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
Leave a Comment
    Submit a report
    Please help us understand how this comment violates our community guidelines.
    Thank you for the feedback
    Your feedback has been sent to our team for review.

    Leave a commentcancel