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Maine Public is stepping away from Twitter. Here's why

A sign at Twitter headquarters is shown in San Francisco, Dec. 8, 2022.
Jeff Chiu
AP file
A sign at Twitter headquarters is shown in San Francisco, Dec. 8, 2022.

Today, Maine Public is suspending activity on Twitter, joining NPR, PBS and many public media stations across the country. Twitter's actions erroneously call into question the editorial independence of two of our largest content providers and undermine our own credibility by association. 

Last week, Twitter labeled NPR "state-affiliated media" and later changed that to “government-funded media." This week, Twitter also labeled PBS as government-funded media.

The false implication of government influence on journalism originating from public media organizations like NPR and, by association, Maine Public, strikes at the very foundation of public media. Our editorial independence and the integrity of our journalism and journalists speaks to our core values shared by everyone in the organization. As stated by NPR’s CEO John Lansing, “Actions by Twitter or other social media companies to tarnish the independence of any public media institution are exceptionally harmful and set a dangerous precedent." We agree.

As any good reporter will tell you, the truth lies in the actual facts. NPR receives some government funding from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and funders like the National Science Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. None of those grants are guaranteed and the total accounts for less than 1% of NPR's annual operating budget.

Maine Public’s financial model is equally transparent. About 14% of our $16.3 million in revenue for FY23 comes from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a private, independent corporation created by Congress 50 years ago to shield public media from government influence. Most of our revenue comes from individual donors, foundations and corporate support from Maine businesses. Maine Public also receives an appropriation from the State of Maine specifically for maintaining the infrastructure of Maine’s Emergency Alert System.

Maine Public’s mission is “to connect the people of Maine and our region to each other and to the world through the open exchange of information, ideas, and cultural content.” We do this work to the highest editorial, ethical, and journalistic standards forming a partnership of trust with our audience. Mainers can be very proud of this work, as am I.

Rick Schneider
President and CEO

You can continue to find Maine Public everywhere else you get your news:

Thank you for your ongoing support of Maine Public and our independent journalists. You can reach me at rschneider@mainepublic.org.