Radio New Zealand said the “government-funded” label did not reflect the broadcaster’s editorial independence.
New Zealand’s public broadcaster has threatened to leave Twitter following Elon Musk’s decision to label certain media accounts as “government-funded”.
Radio New Zealand’s head of content, Megan Whelan, said on Monday that the labels Twitter uses to describe outlets where “governments may be involved to varying degrees in editing content” do not reflect the broadcaster’s editorial independence.
“Our editorial independence is not only protected by law, but we vigorously protect it,” Whelan said in a statement posted on Twitter.
“Over the next few days, we will consider our options, including talking to Twitter to remove or amend the hashtag, or, as other public media outlets around the world have done, leave the platform.”
RNZ’s statement came after America’s publicly funded National Public Radio and Public Broadcasting Service quit Twitter in protest at what they saw as Musk’s efforts to undermine its legitimacy.
Twitter has in recent days added the “government-funded” label to publicly funded media outlets, including the BBC in the UK, CBC in Canada, Voice of America and Al Jazeera, following its decision to apply the “state-affiliated media” label to NPR backlash .
Before Musk took over Twitter last year, “state media” were reserved for government mouthpieces, such as China’s Xinhua News Agency and Russia’s RT.
Musk later suggested NPR’s decision was a mistake, saying it was “probably inaccurate” to describe the broadcaster as state media.