CounterPropaganda · Hackers · Information operations · Information Warfare · Russia · UK · United Kingdom

UK: Ofcom opens three new investigations into Kremlin-backed TV channel

In April, Ofcom said that since the Salisbury nerve agent attack of former spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, it had ‘observed a significant increase in the number of programmes’ on the channel that should be investigated. Picture: Getty

Russia’s propaganda channel, RT, is under investigation in the UK for…  (drumroll) broadcasting propaganda. 

The challenge is proving bias in reporting, not offering all sides of issues.  

Russia takes advantage of the West’s belief in freedom of speech and freedom of journalism and pushes the limits to the maximum extent possible. 

The UK is Russia’s #1 enemy, it’s been publicly stated in Russia media repeatedly.  In an effort to promote Russia and Russian national interests, it cannot raise itself, so Russia is attempting to undermine the UK. It seeks to sow chaos and widen any existing or developing divisions with the British culture, society, and politics. Russia also seeks to weaken Western democracy by any and all means necessary. 

If the Ofcom investigation finds RT to be what everybody seems to already know, that RT is a broadcasting unfair and biased coverage, RT may lose its license. See as this is just arrow, albeit a very large one, there are a myriad of other information weapons that Russia will continue using.  

The Skripal incident is a good example of Russian propaganda at work, especially by RT. It is widely reported that over 15 alternate theories have been published by RT, seeking to undermine the UK’s official stance that Russian special services attempted to assassinate Colonel Skripal and his daughter. Even Russian Vladimir Putin has engaged in this information war, recently stating that the weapon used against Skripal and his daughter was certainly not military grade chemical weapons, for he would be dead if they were. 

If Ofcom determines that RT is, indeed, a propaganda and offers biased coverage, it may provide a cause for other countries to make similar determinations. Perhaps this would be cause for other nations to close RT and Sputnik outlets down for cause.

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By ANGUS HOWARTH Published: 16:45 Monday 21 May 2018

Broadcasting watchdog Ofcom has opened three new investigations into a Kremlin-backed TV channel following the Salisbury poisoning case.

This brings the total number of open investigations into RT, formerly Russia Today, from seven to 11.

An Ofcom spokeswoman said the further investigations are looking into “the due impartiality of news and current affairs programmes broadcast” on the channel.

One of the new investigations is regarding a segment on current affairs programme Crosstalk, and the others will be assessing two news broadcasts, which aired across April and May.

Crosstalk is being assessed over a segment which focused on the dynamics of the ongoing Syrian conflict and the US foreign policy in Syria.

One of the news broadcasts is being assessed over its reporting of the Ukrainian government and its position on Nazism and the treatment of Roma Gypsies, while the other was focused on fracking in the UK and the reported treatment of anti-fracking activists by UK authorities.

The regulator will look into whether each of these three broadcasts, which aired across April and May, offered sufficient balance for viewers on each topic.

In April, Ofcom said that since the Salisbury nerve agent attack of former spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, it had “observed a significant increase in the number of programmes” on the channel that should be investigated.

“Until recently, TV Novosti’s overall compliance record has not been materially out of line with other broadcasters,” Ofcom said of the company that broadcasts RT.

“However, since the events in Salisbury, we have observed a significant increase in the number of programmes on the RT service that warrant investigation as potential breaches of the Ofcom Broadcasting Code. “We will announce the outcome of these investigations as soon as possible.”