By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

GBH will keep tweeting

GBH is sticking with Twitter, at least for now. I just received this statement from spokeswoman Erin Callanan:

At this time, GBH is continuing to use Twitter as a platform for sharing trusted content with its audience. We strongly object to Twitter’s labeling of NPR and PBS  as “government-funded” media. However, GBH continues to be the most trusted media in this market, and we have a responsibility to share our news and other programming with the broadest possible audience using the tools available to us.

This remains an evolving situation, and we will continue to monitor the changes as it moves forward.

Like all public media organizations, GBH is locally owned, operated, and governed. We receive the vast majority of our support from individual donors and members, as well as from foundations. We provide independent fact-based news, as well as other quality educational entertainment. We strongly believe that editorial independence and a free press are critical to our democracy.

In my earlier item, I mentioned GBH News specifically, as that is the local news division that competes most directly with WBUR Radio. GBH, of course, is a massive operation, comprising local and national programming on television and radio.

I was affiliated with GBH News for many years and still consider myself a friend of the station. But I think this is a mistake. As I noted earlier, GBH News is already on Mastodon, the leading Twitter alternative, though GBH as a whole is not. But neither is WBUR, and they took the hit rather than continuing to play in Elon Musk’s toxic garden.

Then again, there’s no particular reason why public media outlets are under any special obligation to leave Twitter just because they’re NPR affiliates. All news organizations should be packing up and moving, and that includes The Boston Globe, The New York Times, The Washington Post, CNN and all the rest. It’s the right thing to do, and it would make it that much easier for small players (like Media Nation, for example) to do likewise.

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1 Comment

  1. Lex Alexander

    [[Then again, there’s no particular reason why public media outlets are under any special obligation to leave Twitter just because they’re NPR affiliates. ]]

    True enough. But I think that it is particularly appropriate that public media leave the corrupt, corporate walled garden of Twitter and establish a presence, as GBH has done, on Mastodon. Mastodon is a decentralized, federated platform that no one entity — especially no one corporation — can own or control. What better place for a news platform with the mission of public media?

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