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A statement from BPR on Twitter

In addition to other main social media platforms Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn, BPR is active on Twitter.
In addition to other main social media platforms Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn, BPR is active on Twitter.

In an attention-generating move, Twitter, led by CEO Elon Musk, labelled NPR “state-affiliated media” earlier this month. The label placed NPR alongside propaganda organizations in Russia and China.

When the limelight created by that move diminished, Twitter changed the label to “government-funded media.”

BPR rejects Twitter’s inaccurate and misleading labeling and re-labeling. As a social media platform that serves news audiences, Twitter’s change is meant to sow doubt, and imply that NPR’s coverage and editorial judgment is influenced by the government.

It is not.

In response, NPR announced it would not maintain its Twitter accounts and would deemphasize Twitter across the organization.

As one of 260 member stations of the NPR network, Blue Ridge Public Radio airs NPR content, shares NPR stories online and contributes stories to the network and other stations. Our journalists abide by the NPR Code of Ethics. Like NPR, we hold editorial independence and impartiality as our highest values, and we believe the free press is vital for a functioning democracy.

We are able to do this because more than 90% of BPR funding comes from the community. Local listeners, readers, businesses and other organizations provide financial support to BPR. Control over BPR is local.

We believe the communities of Western North Carolina deserve fair, accurate, independent coverage, on all platforms--even those managed by individuals who may prioritize sensationalism over ethics.

For now, we remain active on Twitter and transparent about our decision-making. We intend to continue to monitor all social media platforms and adjust our participation if needed to serve our ethical duties and provide our audiences with trusted, fact-based news on all platforms.

We welcome your thoughts on our decision. Please share them at news@bpr.org.

Laura Lee began her journalism career as a producer and booker at NPR. She returned to her native North Carolina to manage The State of Things, a live daily statewide show on WUNC. After working as a managing editor of an education journalism start-up, she became a writer and editor at a national education publication, Edutopia. She then served as the news editor at Carolina Public Press, a statewide investigative newsroom. In 2022, she worked to build collaborative coverage of elections administration and democracy in North Carolina.

Laura received her master’s in journalism from the University of Maryland and her bachelor’s degree in political science and J.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.