ANALYSIS – RT which was formerly known as RussiaToday has become the focus of considerable attention here in Britain and across the Atlantic because it’s critics say the channel is nothing more than a mouthpiece for Vladimir Putin. Those critics include The Guardian newspaper which claims to champion free speech, as well as the usual suspects at Fox News. OFCOM which took Iranian owned PressTV off the air here has criticised RT for its lack of balance particularly over its coverage of Ukraine which the channel has unsuccessfully attempted to portray as a battle against the facists and Nazis of Kiev, in much as same way as it attempted to show the former president of Georgia to be a genocidal maniac. RT offers a different point of view – it has at least two clear stars in its schedule, namely Max Keiser and Peter Lavelle’s Cross Talk programme – and sometimes scores hits for instance it recently showed the civilian toll of Saudi Arabia’s air strikes in Yemen, which al Jazeera has been claiming to be a largely ‘clean’ war. Of course RT is a propaganda channel it may deny this but it comes across as such on air and in its content, and you also get the impression that it is impossible to criticise the President of Russia or Russia generally – but that shouldn’t mean it being removed off air. The viewer gets another take on the world and should be allowed to make their own judgment as to whether what they are seeing and hearing has some merit or is just a state’s propaganda. Any judgements like those that resulted in the removal of PressTV must take into account this broader picture, that RT offers a point of view from a part of the world that is still misunderstood and because of various reasons will continue to play a major part in future world affairs.
TEMPLATE NEWS 2015