25 Jul RUSSIA TODAY UKRAINE COVERAGE BREACHED BROADCASTING RULES 29 TIMES, SAYS OFCOM
Russia Today broke UK broadcasting rules on impartiality 29 times over a four-day period following the Russian invasion of Ukraine in late February, British communications regulator Ofcom has said in a lengthy report published last week.
The 29 programmes, investigated by Ofcom on the basis of viewer complaints and its own monitoring, were broadcast by Russia’s RT between 27 February and 2 March 2022. The invasion of Ukraine began on 24 February. Ofcom says the breaches “were serious and repeated”, and that it is “minded to consider them for the imposition of a statutory sanction”.
Ofcom’s investigation focused on RT news bulletins and a documentary entitled Donbass Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow. The regulator says the bulletins were “highly critical of the policies and actions of the Ukrainian state and/or military”, and concluded that they did not sufficiently feature alternative viewpoints.
RT stopped broadcasting on regulated platforms in the UK on 2 March, following the imposition of EU sanctions which undermined its capacity to broadcast. Later that month, the network’s licence to operate in the UK was revoked.
RT subsequently wound down its operations in central London, but continues to broadcast around the world from Russia.
Responding to Ofcom’s report, an RT spokesperson said: “The logic of these decisions mirrors the one guiding their delivery many months after Ofcom’s revocation of RT’s license: it is a trial after a conviction and RT is guilty of being Russian and daring to voice a point of view and show facts unacceptable to the British political and media establishments.”