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NPR To Step Away From Twitter Citing Risk To Outlet's Credibility

NPR CEO John Lansing: 'I Would Need Some Time To Understand Whether Twitter Can Be Trusted Again'

National Public Radio (NPR) announced the outlet would step away from Twitter following owner Elon Musk’s decision to label the account “government-funded media” last week.

The outlet will also step away from their companion account NPR Politics Feed.

“NPR produces consequential, independent journalism every day in service to the public,” the outlet wrote in a Wednesday Twitter post encouraging users to download the NPR application.

NPR also instructed readers to follow the outlet’s newsletter along with their Instagram and Facebook.

“I would never have our content go anywhere that would risk our credibility,” said NPR CEO John Lansing said in an interview. “At this point I have lost my faith in the decision-making at Twitter.”

“I would need some time to understand whether Twitter can be trusted again.”

NPR’s main Twitter account has not posted since April 4 following Twitter’s initial decision to label the outlet as “US state-affiliated media,” though was later changed to “government-funded media” to more accurately represent the outlet’s funding.

Lansing responded to their account’s previous “government-affiliated media” label by saying he was “disturbed” by the decision.

“NPR stands for freedom of speech and holding the powerful accountable. It is unacceptable for Twitter to label us this way,” the NPR CEO wrote.

In a statement released shortly after the implementation of Twitter’s label, NPR said the outlet only receives 1% of its annual budget, on average, from federal sources.

The outlet also contested Twitter’s label by pointing out Public Broadcasting Service’s (PBS) Twitter account had not been similarly labeled “US state-affiliated media.”

NPR revealed the outlet received a poop emoji after reaching out to Twitter for explanation.

“In response to an NPR email for this story seeking comment and requesting details about what in particular might have led to the new designation, the company’s press account auto-replied with a poop emoji — a message it has been sending to journalists for weeks,” NPR said.

Earlier this week, the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) also received a “government-funded media” label from Twitter.

“The BBC is, and always has been, independent. We are funded by the British public through the license fee,” wrote the outlet in a statement to Twitter.

Musk responded to the BBC by saying the label was appropriate.

“We are aiming for maximum transparency and accuracy. Linking to ownership and source of funds probably makes sense,” Musk responded. “I do think media organizations should be self-aware and not falsely claim the complete absence of bias. All organizations have bias, some obviously much more than others.”

The tech billionaire conceded, however, he believed BBC to be “among the least biased” in the myriad of outlets receiving Twitter’s latest label.

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