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NPR leaves Twitter after being labeled as 'government-funded media'

NPR leaves Twitter after being labeled as 'government-funded media'
Posted at 11:12 AM, Apr 12, 2023

NPR said it will no longer use Twitter after the social media outlet tagged it as “government-funded media.”

Prior to the government-funded media tag, Twitter tagged the outlet as “state-affiliated media.” NPR has pushed back on the labels. 

"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," NPR said in a statement. "We are turning away from Twitter but not from our audiences and communities."

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Twitter has used similar tags to describe state-run media outlets, including:

- Russia's TASS as "Russia state-affiliated media"

- China's Xinhua as "China state-affiliated media"

- Russia's RT as "Russia state-affiliated media"

But those outlets differ from NPR as NPR has full editorial control, while outlets such as TASS and Xinhua are not free to publish stories critical of national leaders. 

Also, most of NPR’s funding does not come from the government. According to NPR figures, it receives most of its funding through corporate sponsorships, core and programming fees, and contributions of cash and financial assets. 

NPR says for its member stations, which operate as their own entities, 59% of their funding comes from individual and corporate sponsorships. NPR says 8% of funds are from federal appropriations. An additional 5% comes from local, state and federal government funds. 

Although most public radio funds come from donors, NPR says federal funds are "essential to public radio's service to the American public and its continuation is critical for both stations and program producers, including NPR."

Twitter responded to Scripps News’ request for a reaction with a poop emoji.