OPINION | This article contains the author's opinion.
It was recently reported that Twitter CEO Elon Musk labeled the U.S. outlet National Public Radio (NPR) as “state-affiliated media.” The label is also placed on Russia’s TASS and China’s Xinhua News.
NPR is widely accused of advancing a left-wing bias while also receiving American taxpayer dollars through a number of grants from federal agencies.
John Lansing, the CEO of NPR, criticized the label for being “untrue.” The media outlet has officially decided to stop using Twitter altogether as a result.
In a statement, the outlet said, “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.”
“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,” the statement continued.
“We are turning away from Twitter but not from our audience and communities. There are plenty of ways to stay connected and keep up with NPR’s news, music, and cultural content.”
Twitter recently changed “state-affiliated media” and replaced it with “government-funded media.” However, this apparently didn’t resolve the problem in NPR’s view.
NPR has 8.8 million followers and 52 different Twitter feeds.
Seems accurate pic.twitter.com/nx5TmJY7GX
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 5, 2023
Musk has argued that the labeling is “accurate” and provides Twitter users with critical information when viewing accounts on the platform.
CEO John Lansing said the label is “untrue” and claims “NPR operates independently of the U.S. government.”
“And while federal money is important to the overall public media system, NPR gets less than 1% of its annual budget, on average, from federal sources,” Lansing continued. “NPR stands for freedom of speech and holding the powerful accountable. It is unacceptable for Twitter to label us this way. A vigorous, vibrant free press is essential to the health of our democracy.”
Lansing claims NPR publishes “independent, fact-based journalism.”
Many people responded by thanking Musk while others argued more left-wing media outlets that receive federal funding should also receive the labeling.
Here are some of the popular responses:
Ok NPR…. so if you aren’t “state-affiliated media”, you won’t mind if your government funding is cut off. https://t.co/iAJtaRw577
— Christina Pushaw 🐊 🇺🇸 (@ChristinaPushaw) April 5, 2023
BREAKING: Twitter just labelled NPR as US state media pic.twitter.com/PSNHKV7kMv
— Jack Poso 🇺🇸 (@JackPosobiec) April 5, 2023
GET REKT @NPR
— Benny Johnson (@bennyjohnson) April 5, 2023
Been asking for this for a long time.
— @amuse (@amuse) April 5, 2023
Incredibly based. Now just need to properly label NYT, CNN, AP, MSNBC, and NBC the same.
— BowTiedRanger (@BowTiedRanger) April 5, 2023
95% of the media should be labeled the same.
New York Times, Washington Post, ABC, CBS, NBC, etc.
— Todd Cefaratti (@ToddCefaratti_) April 5, 2023