NPR Says It’s Done Using Twitter After Elon’s ‘State-Affiliated Media’ Label

WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 22: A view of the National Public Radio (NPR) headquarters on North Capitol Street February 22, 2023 in Washington, DC. NPR CEO John Lansing announced in a memo to staff that the network is ... WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 22: A view of the National Public Radio (NPR) headquarters on North Capitol Street February 22, 2023 in Washington, DC. NPR CEO John Lansing announced in a memo to staff that the network is planning to lay off around 10% of its workforce, citing a decline in advertising revenue. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images) MORE LESS
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National Public Radio announced it will no longer post content on its 52 official Twitter accounts, saying they refuse to use the platform as it “undermine[d] our credibility by falsely implying that we are 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,” an NPR spokesperson told TPM.

With the move, NPR became the first major news organization to stop using the popular social media platform in the wake of billionaire Elon Musk’s takeover.

“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,” the NPR spokesperson added.

The decision comes just a week after Twitter tagged the non-profit media organization a “state-affiliated media” account, a label typically used by the platform to identify foreign media outlets that represent the official views of their government, like Russia’s RT and China’s Xinhua.

In a series of emails he exchanged with an NPR reporter last week Twitter CEO Elon Musk reportedly acknowledged their decision to label NPR as a “state-affiliated media” account might not have been accurate.

A few days later, Twitter changed the tag on NPR’s account to “government-funded media” and added media organizations PBS and BBC under the same designation.

In a BBC interview posted online Wednesday, Musk suggested he may further change the label to “publicly funded.”

But NPR CEO John Lansing said even if Twitter were to drop the designation altogether, the media organization will not immediately return to the platform.

“At this point I have lost my faith in the decision-making at Twitter,” Lansing said in a NPR interview. “I would need some time to understand whether Twitter can be trusted again.”

Lansing added individual NPR journalists and staffers can decide for themselves whether they would like to continue using Twitter.

The non-profit media organization also announced the move on Twitter — in possibly their final post on the platform for the foreseeable future — tweeting a thread of venues their audience can use to access NPR content.

NPR also added “you can find us every other place you read the news” to its Twitter bio last week, signaling they would suspend their use of the platform.

In an email to staff explaining the decision, Lansing wrote, “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.”

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Notable Replies

  1. As should every Journalistic Organization

  2. NPR’s exit reveals Twitter is slowly declining in relevance and usefulness. Elmo’s bizarre objective to convert Twitter into a right wing cesspool is coming to fruition, albeit at the cost of wiping out the $40 billion he and his gullible investors used to buy it.

  3. I don’t know why more media sites don’t collectively give up on twitter. I know its a place for one-stop-shopping of information but there are other up-and-coming social media sites that need support it seems.

    Screen Shot 2023-04-12 at 1.12.34 PM

    Frankly, if more news sites just got rid of the free advertisement for twitter at the top of every article, along with maybe their facebook link, they wouldn’t look so dumb complaining about how it’s all gone to shit now. Stick a few more icons and links up there TPM if other social media strikes your fancy these days. I don’t log onto social media so basically it really doesn’t affect me all that much. Yeah, I read certain twitter feeds but if a real migration does take place the least they can do is guide people to it.

  4. I really really really hate to say this, but it’s time for TPM to do the same. I get it, I really get it, but it’s time.

  5. No, not slowly at all. Only that the media is slowly realizing it.

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