Another Name Joins NPR in Fleeing Twitter

PBS has stopped tweeting since it was labeled 'government-funded media' on Saturday
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 12, 2023 10:17 AM CDT
Updated Apr 13, 2023 1:18 PM CDT
NPR Is First Major US News Outlet to Dump Twitter
The headquarters for National Public Radio on North Capitol Street in Washington.   (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File)
UPDATE Apr 13, 2023 1:18 PM CDT

PBS has joined NPR in getting the heck away from Twitter. Like NPR, the Public Broadcasting Service was recently labeled by the social platform as "government-funded media," meaning Twitter would not amplify its tweets. The label was initially "state-affiliated media," a phrase applied to propaganda outlets in Russia and China, though Twitter later altered its wording. PBS hasn't tweeted since Saturday, per Axios. "PBS stopped tweeting from our account when we learned of the change and we have no plans to resume at this time," rep Jason Phelps tells Bloomberg. "We are continuing to monitor the ever-changing situation closely." Federal and state government funding provides about 28% of PBS' revenue, according to its website.

Apr 12, 2023 10:17 AM CDT

NPR is going to stop tweeting. The news outfit said Wednesday it was quitting Twitter in protest of Elon Musk's new labeling of the organization, reports the Hill. Last week, Musk labeled NPR "state-affiliated media"—on par with state-controlled media in Russia and China—then backtracked amid criticism to soften the label to "government-funded media," per the New York Times. Not good enough, says NPR. “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,” says rep Isabel Lara. While NPR as an entity will stop tweeting after two weeks, it is allowing its reporters to decide for themselves whether to ditch their own accounts.

NPR media writer David Folkenflik notes that his employer is the first major news organization in the US to leave Twitter. Musk himself appeared to be unclear about NPR's funding and its relationship with the government in the initial backlash to the labeling. Folkenflik writes that NPR "receives less than 1 percent of its $300 million annual budget from the federally funded Corporation for Public Broadcasting." The Washington Post has this breakdown: "(A)bout 40 percent of its revenue comes from sponsorships and about 30 percent from programming fees paid by local public radio stations. (These stations, in turn, typically receive state and federal funds and use them to finance their operations, as well as pay for NPR-produced programs.)"

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