Britain’s broadcasting standards watchdog on Wednesday opened seven impartiality probes concerning Russia’s RT news channel, noting “a significant increase” in programs warranting investigation since the poisoning of a former Russian spy in March.
“Ofcom has today opened seven new investigations into the due impartiality of news and current affairs programs on the RT news channel,” the regulator said in a statement.
Ofcom said that TV Novosti, the holder of RT’s UK broadcast licenses, which is financed from the budget of the Russian Federation, had an overall compliance record not “materially out of line with other broadcasters.”
“However, since the events in Salisbury, we have observed a significant increase in the number of programs on the RT service that we consider warrant investigation as potential breaches of the Ofcom Broadcasting Code,” it added.
Former double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were found slumped on a bench in the English cityof Salisbury last month, sparking a bitter diplomatic crisis between Moscow and London, who say a nerve agent developed in Russia was used on the pair.
Russia strongly denies involvement in the attack, which sparked the expulsions of diplomats from all sides. RT provides a Russian perspective on British and global news and has an average audience of 3,400 viewers at any given point during the day.
The investigations center on programs broadcast between March 17 and April 16, following the March 4 attack.
Ofcom has the power to impose financial penalties, or even revoke the license to broadcast.
RIA: Russia will kick out UK media outlets if London shuts RTRussia will not allow any British media outlets to operate on its territory if Russian broadcaster RT loses its UK license, a Russian foreign ministry ... Television & Radio
G7 states reach no deal on UK call for further Syria, Russia sanctionsForeign ministers from Group of Seven (G7) major industrialised nations reached no agreement on a British suggestion that sanctions be tightened ... Middle East
UK FM: Russia guilty of prolonging war in SyriaRussia is guilty of prolonging the war in Syria and may have committed war crimes by targeting an aid convoy, British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said World News
France, UK tell Syria, Russia respect ceasefireFrance and Britain called on the Syrian government and its Russian ally to immediately end attacks on Western-backed rebels, Middle East
Bomb ‘may have been carried’ onto Russian planeU.S. and UK say it’s possible an explosive caused the Saint Petersburg-bound jet but Russia and Egypt have downplayed the theory Middle East