The Public Broadcasting Service has become the new contender to step up as the second news organization to fully quit Twitter this week in the wake of the National Public Radio announcing that it will quit using the platform in the wake of Twitter CEO Elon Musk having the group marked as “US state-affiliated media” before correcting down to marking them as “Government-funded Media” — a label which enraged NPR and was later also applied to the accounts owned by PBS.
“PBS stopped tweeting from our account when we learned of the change and we have no plans to resume at this time,” stated Jason Phelps, a spokesman for PBS, to Bloomberg News. “We are continuing to monitor the ever-changing situation closely.”
Musk shared the company’s current policy regarding labeling state-affiliated media when the choice was made to first place the label onto all NPR accounts.
“State-affiliated media is defined as outlets where the state exercises control over editorial content through financial resources, direct or indirect political pressures, and/or control over production and distribution,” reads the policy directly from Twitter.
One spokesperson for NPR chose to angrily comment about the new designation by announcing that the company would no longer be making use of the platform.
“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,” the statement explained. “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.”
“We are turning away from Twitter but not from our audiences and communities,” it went on. “There are plenty of ways to stay connected and keep up with NPR’s news, music, and cultural content.”
Quite recently, NPR gained quite a bit of infamy for refusing to give any coverage whatsoever to the Hunter Biden laptop scandal in the few weeks running up to the 2020 presidential elections.
“We don’t want to waste our time on stories that are not really stories, and we don’t want to waste the listeners’ and readers’ time on stories that are just pure distractions,” stated NPR Managing Editor Terence Samuels at that time while trying to explain why the outlet was not going to be giving it coverage.
Why haven't you seen any stories from NPR about the NY Post's Hunter Biden story? Read more in this week's newsletter➡️ https://t.co/CJesPgmGvo pic.twitter.com/jAi7PnpbZf
— NPR Public Editor (@NPRpubliceditor) October 22, 2020