Media Brand Safety

Ofcom steps up scrutiny of RT broadcasts amid calls for license to be revoked

By John Glenday | Reporter

February 24, 2022 | 3 min read

Russian rolling news network RT has been thrown into the spotlight by recent events in Ukraine, with Ofcom stating that it has “already stepped up oversight of coverage” in light of the crisis.

The UK government has already asked the media regulator to review the broadcast license of Russian news channel RT in light of military action in Ukraine, with the secretary of state for culture, media and sport Nadine Dorries instigating a review of its broadcast license.

RT

Russia has already threatened retaliatory action against British journalists if RT is taken off air

Dorries is clear that the station “is demonstrably part of Russia’s global disinformation campaign,” arguing that “it is essential that the UK looks to limit Russia’s ability to spread their propaganda at home.”

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Speaking yesterday in parliament, prime minister Boris Johnson insisted that any action must be non-political, stating: “We live in a country that believes in free speech. And I think it’s important that we should leave it up to Ofcom rather than to politicians to decide which media organizations to ban, that’s what Russia does.”

The move was immediately dismissed by RT deputy editor-in-chief Anna Belkina, who responded: “Always a joy to see western and particularly British politicians finally drop their hypocritical disguise in favor of open interference in institutions they touted as supposedly totally independent and wholly free from political pressure and interference.”

RT is freely available in millions of UK households, and Russia has already threatened retaliatory action against British journalists if the station is taken off air.

British brands have long since deserted the channel amid the widespread understanding that it is nothing but a propaganda mouthpiece for the Russian state.

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