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.”