“Defund NPR” became a trending topic Sunday on Twitter as some users demanded taxpayer dollars no longer fund the outlet, while others pointed out that federal funding is non-existent.
National Public Radio, also known as NPR, is a non-profit media organization. The outlet receives a small portion of its funding from institutional grants, individual contributions, and fees paid by Public Radio Satellite System users. Combined, the funds make up 7% of the total revenue.
However, a large portion of the media organization’s revenue comes from corporate sponsors and fees paid by member stations.
Although grants from institutions and non-profits have allowed NPR to launch new programs and initiatives, expand coverage of major news topics, and more, defunding the small percentage of revenue wouldn’t necessarily stop the organization from running.
On Sunday, the topic caused division on Twitter as many defended NPR as a credible news organization that should be allowed to continue reporting the news.
“To the #DefundNPR idiots:2% of NPR’s revenue come from competitive grants. The rest is privately funded. How much of NPR’s revenue is directly funded by the federal government? 0%. Not a single dollar. Saying ‘Defund NPR!’ is like demanding that Chipotle stop serving pizza,” one user posted.
Another user encouraged people to continue donating to NPR to maintain accurate news. “Defund NPR??? No Way! Truth must scare these Twitter trolls. Donate to your local NPR station. Public radio journalists in your community, across the country, and around the world bring you fact-based reporting,” the user posted.
While it is unclear exactly how the “Defund NPR” trend started, the phrase appeared to gain traction on Twitter after GOP members criticized the outlet over a disinformation reporting team.
On Saturday, North Carolina Rep. Dan Bishop tweeted “Defund NPR” and later retweeted messages suggesting the media organization reported disinformation as news.
The following day, Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., slammed NPR for creating the new team.
“NPR just announced the creation of a DISINFORMATION TEAM. NPR deliberately covered up the Hunter Biden laptop story by labeling it a DISTRACTION. NPR’s first target needs to be itself,” Boebert tweeted.
The NPR disinformation reporting team, which was announced on Friday, will be made up of Shannon Bond, Huo Jingnan, Lisa Hagen, and Brett Neely.