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Russian RT news channel editor-in-chief accuses UK media regulator of censorship

November 11, 2014, 14:26 UTC+3 MOSCOW
"Just as we have launched our TV channel in Britain, they are threatening to revoke our license upon biased accusations," says Margarita Simonyan
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Margarita Simonyan

Margarita Simonyan

© ITAR-TASS/Maxim Shemetov

MOSCOW, November 11. /TASS/. RT editor-in-chief Margarita Simonyan said on Tuesday accusations by a British media regulator Ofcom of the Russian channel’s biased coverage of Ukraine amount to censorship.

“Just as we have launched our TV channel in Britain, they are threatening to revoke our license upon biased accusations. Democracy as it is,” Simonyan wrote on her Twitter microblog on Tuesday.

“They believe our coverage of Ukraine was biased. We have found a ton of examples of the BBC bias on Ukraine and called Ofcom,” she wrote, adding that the only answer was that the regulator does not oversee the BBC.

RT claims in particular refer to the BBC’s coverage of Ukraine in the first week of March.

Simonyan said Ofcom has not even concealed that it is pressuring the Russian TV channel to change its editorial policy. “We will not change our editorial policy, despite the pressure,” she said, adding that RT is the only source of alternative information for the British audience.

The UK communications authority published a bulletin on Monday saying that RT wants “to present the news from a Russian perspective” but all news must be presented with “due impartiality … in particular, when reporting on matters of major political controversy.”

In late October, RT launched a news channel dedicated for the audience in the United Kingdom in an effort to “challenge dominant power structures in Britain by broadcasting live and original programming with a progressive UK focus.”

Launched in December 2005, RT’s network now consists of three global news channels broadcasting in English, Spanish and Arabic. RT UK’s sister channel, RT America, airs from a studio based in Washington, DC.

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