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NPR Rage Quit Twitter After Being Labelled “Government-Funded” By The Platform

Haley Kennington

National Public Radio (NPR) publicly rage quit Twitter today after a week-long meltdown after first being labeled “state-affiliated media”, and later “government-funded media.”

NPR currently has 52 different Twitter accounts, with millions of collective followers.

The entire ordeal started on Tuesday, March 4th, when Twitter slapped a “US state-affiliated media” label on all tweets from the National Public Radio (NPR) account.

The label was also added to all 52 NPR account bios.

This is just one of dozens of changes to the platform after Elon Musk purchased the social media site in late 2022.

The “US state-affiliated media” label was not only assigned to NPR. It has also been given to other official accounts such as China Central Television (CCTV) and Russia Today (RT). This step is to advise Twitter users of state-funded media accounts on the site.

NPR immediately began to thrash and wail about the new label – a response many found somewhat confusing, considering NPR’s own website reads, “Federal funding is essential to public radio’s service to the American public and its continuation is critical for both stations and program producers, including NPR.”

NPR CEO John Lansing said in a recent interview:

“At this point, I have lost my faith in the decision-making at Twitter,”

He added that he “would need some time to understand whether Twitter can be trusted again.”

Steve Inskeep, an NPR columnist, also shared news from Lansing from the “Morning Edition” meeting on Wednesday, tweeting, “NPR says it will de-emphasize Twitter. Aside from the misleading label, NPR says Twitter isn’t used by most Americans; drives little traffic to NPR; and ‘no longer has the public service relevance it once had.'”

This is an interesting thing to say, considering Twitter just reached record usage since the Musk buyout.

An announcement was soon made on NPR’s main Twitter account (@NPR). It stated the they would be going silent until further notice in order to protect the network’s credibility.

This thread included where users could download the NPR app, where to sign up for an NPR weekly newsletter, as well as where to follow them on other social media.

NRP’s announcement of leaving Twitter

According to columnist David Folkenflik, “the decision by Twitter last week took the public radio network off guard.”

Folkenflik adds that NPR receives less than 1 percent of its $300 million annual budget from the federally funded Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

Under the caption Public Radio and Federal Funding, the site says, “the loss of federal funding would undermine the stations’ ability to pay NPR for programming, thereby weakening the institution.”

It goes on to say that the removal of federal funding would “result in fewer programs, less journalism-and eventually the loss of public radio stations, particularly in rural and economically distressed communities.”

Journalist Ian Miles Cheong said in a tweet on Wednesday, “Remember when NPR refused to cover Hunter’s laptop because it was not ‘newsworthy’? Nothing of value was lost.”

This sentiment was echoed by actor James Woods, who tweeted screenshots from NPR’s stance on the infamous NY Post’s Hunter Biden laptop story that was wildly suppressed on Twitter and other social media sites.

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