NYPR’s Statement About Our Presence on Twitter
Two days ago, NPR made the decision to cease posting on Twitter after CEO Elon Musk falsely labeled the news outlet “state-affiliated media,” the same designation given to government-controlled propaganda machines in Russia and China. Twitter’s CEO Musk then changed the designation to “government-funded,” continuing to imply that users should question the editorial independence of NPR and public radio.
New York Public Radio—home to WNYC and Gothamist, one of the region’s largest local newsrooms—strongly condemns these labels and their challenge to fair and responsible journalism. NYPR currently receives approximately 4% of our total funding from government grants, including the Corporation for Public Broadcasting’s grant given annually to public radio stations across the country. The bulk of our funding comes from readers and listeners.
None of NYPR’s active Twitter accounts has been mislabeled. The mislabeling of NPR, however, raises the question of whether public radio stations — which serve over 97% of the country — should participate on Twitter.
At NYPR, we’ve been engaged in a strong, intentional effort to reach and serve a bigger percentage of our community. That is our mandate, and being available wherever our audience looks for news and information is key to fulfilling it. Serving and reflecting our communities is a moral imperative that we have been pursuing vigorously across the organization, including in decisions about what we put on the air, who we are hiring and how we engage our audiences. Sharing our reporting on multiple platforms and amplifying our digital presence has been in service of this goal.
To put it simply, expanding our reach and serving a more diverse community compels us to be present in the places where research shows us our audiences are looking for local news. As we tell listeners every day, we are “NPR news and the New York conversation.”
At this time, NYPR has decided to remain on Twitter. We believe leaving the platform would do a disservice to our audience and create a gap for those who use Twitter to find New York and New Jersey news. We will continue to monitor the situation closely and continue to act to ensure that we’re serving the best interests of our audience and organization.