International

UK communications regulator revokes license of Russian-funded broadcaster RT

Russian state-owned television station RT passes by the company's office in Moscow
AP/Pavel Golovkin, file

Ofcom, the United Kingdom’s communications regulator, has revoked the license for Russian-funded media outlet RT and parent company ANO TV Novosti on Friday for their biased coverage. 

The agency said the outlet’s parent company was not “fit and proper to hold a U.K. broadcast license,” The Associated Press reported

“We also note new laws in Russia which effectively criminalise any independent journalism that departs from the Russian state’s own news narrative, in particular in relation to the invasion of Ukraine,” Ofcom said. “We consider that given these constraints it appears impossible for RT to comply with the due impartiality rules of our Broadcasting Code in the circumstances.’’

Russia has implemented a new law that says anyone who spreads “disinformation” about the war, meaning information the government doesn’t approve of, could face jail time.

The license was revoked as Ofcom is conducting more than two dozen investigations into the outlet’s coverage of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, according to the AP. 

Individuals in Moscow have told The Hill state-run media in Russia is not showing the destruction in Ukraine, releasing casualty numbers or providing truthful accounts of the actions occurring in Ukraine.  

RT denounced the decision by Ofcom to revoke its license, the AP noted. 

Ofcom “has shown the U.K. public, and the regulatory community internationally, that despite a well-constructed facade of independence, it is nothing more than a tool of government, bending to its media-suppressing will,” RT deputy editor-in-chief Anna Belkina said. 

Russian-backed outlets have seen pushback in multiple countries and on multiple platforms as social media sites such as Facebook and YouTube have limited the outlet’s accounts and ability to make money on their sites.

Tags ANO TV Novosti Disinformation Ofcom RT State media
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