Musk calls for defunding of NPR as network refuses to post on platform
Twitter initially labelled the @NPR account "US state-affiliated media" but later adjusted it to "government-funded" amid pushback.
Twitter CEO Elon Musk on Wednesday called for the defunding of National Public Radio after the outlet indicated it would no longer put its content on Twitter in protest of the social media platform labeling it "state-affiliated" and later "government-funded."
"Defund NPR," Musk tweeted along with a screencap of an email showing NPR announcing its departure from the platform.
"Our executives say the government-funded label calls into question our editorial independence and undermines our credibility," the email reads. NPR does receive federal funding and its website describes such support as "essential to public radio's service to the American public and its continuation is critical for both stations and program producers, including NPR."
Much of that funding comes through grants from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, but the outlet says that "[o]n average, less than 1% of NPR's annual operating budget comes in the form of grants from CPB and federal agencies and departments."
Twitter initially labelled the @NPR account "US state-affiliated media" but later adjusted it to "government-funded" amid pushback. The change did not placate NPR, which announced on Wednesday that it would no longer use the platform.
"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," the network stated.
NPR has emphasized that it is editorially independent from the federal government, though conservatives have longed scrutinized it for alleged left-wing bias.
Ben Whedon is an editor and reporter for Just the News. Follow him on Twitter.