BREAKING: Twitter labels NPR as state-affiliated media

“Labels on government accounts provide additional context for accounts heavily engaged in geopolitics and diplomacy.”

Ari Hoffman Seattle WA
NPR was labeled as “US state-affiliated media” by Twitter on Tuesday night.

According to the social media platform’s guidelines, “Labels on government accounts provide additional context for accounts heavily engaged in geopolitics and diplomacy.”

“Labels on state-affiliated accounts provide additional context about accounts that are controlled by certain official representatives of governments, state-affiliated media entities, and individuals associated with those entities.” 

“The label appears on the profile page of the relevant Twitter account and on the Tweets sent by and shared from these accounts. Labels contain information about the country the account is affiliated with and whether it is operated by a government representative or state-affiliated media entity.”

The platform defined "state-affiliated media" 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. Accounts belonging to state-affiliated media entities, their editors-in-chief, and/or their prominent staff may be labeled."

However, the guidelines also note, "State-financed media organizations with editorial independence, like the BBC in the UK for example, are not defined as state-affiliated media for the purposes of this policy."

NPR's Climate & Energy Correspondent Jeff Brady responded to the outlet's new designation by writing on Twitter, "Uh, no..."

Claims about how much NPR actually gets from taxpayers span from .06 percent of its budget to 6 percent. The remainder is made up of ads, payments from stations, and donations.

However, in 2015 Mark Browning of the American Thinker, calculated that NPR’s budget is made up of 25 percent of taxpayer dollars and that its member stations across the country haul in another 40 percent of public funds.

According to The Hill, federal funds come from grants provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) and in 2021 CPB appropriated nearly $70 million in grants from member stations. 

Last month, NPR disclosed that they were stopping production on several podcasts as part of a larger series of cutbacks the nonprofit news organization has been forced to make in response to a projected $30 million decline in revenue.

In November of 2022, the outlet froze new hiring and made $20 million in budget cuts. 

According to the Washington Post, "NPR reported revenue of $309.7 million and an operating surplus of $28.8 million in fiscal 2021, the most recent year figures are available. This was a sharp increase over its pandemic-beset fiscal 2020, when it recorded revenue of $275.4 million and a $13.6 million operating surplus."

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