In a statement shared on Linkedin, Isabel Lara, Chief Communications Officer at National Public Radio announced, “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,” she added.
According to reporting by Lora Kelly of The New York Times, Twitter had recently added a label to National Public Radio’s (NPR) account, designating it as “U.S. state-affiliated media.” This means that NPR was included among other news media accounts with the same label, such as RT of Russia and Xinhua of China.
Twitter’s guidelines define state-affiliated accounts as those where the state exercises control over editorial content through financial resources, direct or indirect political pressures, and/or control over production and distribution. However, per Isabel Lara, less than 1 percent of NPR’s annual operating budget comes in the form of grants from the government-funded Corporation for Public Broadcasting and other federal agencies and departments.
Twitter has since changed the label on the NPR Twitter account to “Government-funded Media,” a label it also gave to the BBC, the national broadcaster of Britain.
Isabel noted, “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.”