WDET’s decision and values related to NPR’s position on Twitter

The following editorial piece is from WDET General Manager Mary Zatina.

WDET sign on the exterior of our studios

WDET believes in truth, transparency and democracy.

NPR recently announced that it will pause its presence on Twitter. NPR CEO John Lansing and other network officials decided that it would no longer use the platform to distribute information — as long as Twitter incorrectly designates the network as “state-affiliated media” or “government-funded media.” Neither label is accurate. Twitter officials have refused to correct the label.

Some public radio stations have decided to follow NPR’s lead, also pausing their use of Twitter.

WDET has decided to continue providing important, fact-based news and holding civil conversations on Twitter. We’ve discussed the issue and we determined that we are committed to getting key information to the public. Twitter is one way of doing that.

WDET believes in transparency. That’s why we’re making this statement. We want to be clear about our values and how we act on them.

WDET believes in democracy. The importance of a free press is enshrined in the U.S. Constitution. We understand that Americans need to have truthful, fact-based information in order to make sound decisions in their daily lives at home, in their interactions with commerce and in the voting booth. We proudly provide that information and will continue to do so.

WDET values engagement. We understand that we are providing an opportunity for our followers to continue a conversation with us, providing us with feedback that informs our news product and other endeavors here at WDET. Twitter provides an opportunity for users to have a dialog with us — as does Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and other social media platforms.

WDET is public radio. The key idea is public. We provide news, information and music to the public. We hear from the public about what’s important to them in their communities around Metro Detroit and the rest of the world.

And WDET is funded by the public. More than 50% of our revenue comes from individual donors. Another 25% comes from corporations and foundations. Just 5% of our revenue comes from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting — a private non-profit organization funded by the American people. You can view WDET’s financial reports here.

WDET believes it’s more important now than ever to continue having conversations about what is happening in our communities and what expectations we have for ourselves, our country and our future.

It’s important to hear from you. We want to know what you think about this issue and many others. Feel free to contact us and let us know what you think about our decision to stay on Twitter for now.

You can reach us at wdet.org/contact, and we will continue to provide fact-based, community-focused coverage on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, TikTok, wdet.org, the WDET mobile app, and of course, 101.9FM.

Mary A. Zatina
General Manager, WDET
April 14, 2023

Trusted, accurate, up-to-date.

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