Taxpayer-Funded NPR Quits Twitter After Transparently Labeled ‘State-Affiliated Media’

National Public Radio, whose Washington, D.C., headquarters are shown, has seen two senior
Charles Dharapak/Associated Press

Taxpayer-funded National Public Radio (NPR) on Wednesday announced the decision to quit Twitter after being transparently labeled “state-affiliated media.”

NPR, whose budget is subsidized nearly 11 percent by taxpayer funds, declared it will step away from the social media platform to protect journalism. NPR’s media personalities will (so far) remain with personal accounts.

“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,” NPR’s CEO John Lansing said in a statement.

When questioned if NPR would ever return to the platform, Lansing cast doubt on the idea.

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

NPR’s White House correspondent Scott Detrow praised the self-censorship decision on Twitter itself: “It’s the right move and I’m proud of us for taking it.”

The exit comes after Twitter initially labeled NPR as “U.S. state-affiliated media” in its bio. Lansing slammed the label as “inaccurate” and declared the organization was “disturbed” about the social media platform’s decision to be transparent about the subsidization of NPR.

NPR also published an article in its defense entitled, “Twitter labels NPR’s account as ‘state-affiliated media,’ which is untrue.” The article cited Yoel Roth, who was Twitter’s former head of trust and safety and a notoriously left-wing employee who equated members of the Trump administration with Nazis.

The broadcaster’s affiliates have often targeted conservative lawmakers with outright bias. In 2021, NPR published false claims in a book review of Hunter Biden’s memoir that his laptop was Russian disinformation. It has since issued a correction.

In March, the taxpayer-funded organization announced a ten percent workforce layoff after the company declared a revenue shortfall of $30 million.

Follow Wendell Husebø on Twitter @WendellHusebø. He is the author of Politics of Slave Morality.


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