On April 4, Twitter placed a state-affiliated media label on NPR’s account. The label is meant to provide users with context when they see a media account that is under a state’s editorial control, like Russia’s RT and China’s People’s Daily that lack organizational and financial firewalls to insulate their coverage from government interference.
NPR doesn’t fit that description. The outlet gets less than 1% of its funding from the federal government. The other 99% comes largely from corporate sponsorships, membership drives, and fees from affiliate radio stations. This arrangement ensures that NPR remains free from state control. Twitter’s move to add a state media label to NPR’s account therefore equates editorially independent media with propaganda outlets used by autocratic regimes to do things like cover up war crimes and cultural genocide.