Russia Today Faces Probe Over 'Biased' TV Crash Coverage

Wednesday, 23 Jul 2014 01:47 PM

By Drew MacKenzie

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The Kremlin-funded news channel Russia Today faces an investigation by a TV watchdog group in Britain over the accuracy of its Malaysia Airlines crash coverage, according to BuzzFeed.

Ofcom, which is tasked with keeping TV programs fair and accurate in the United Kingdom, is considering a probe of Russia Today, which bills itself as RT, following complaints from viewers about the nature of its reporting on the air tragedy.

After the MH17 passenger plan with 298 people aboard was shot down in eastern Ukraine, reports surfaced alleging that pro-Russian rebels had been behind the attack using a Russian missile launcher.

Last week, London correspondent Sara Firth quit her job with RT, saying the station's anchors "work for" Russian President Vladimir Putin and lied on-air to the public. She said RT had covered the story with "total disregard to the facts."

Also, CNN's Chris Cuomo slammed RT journalist Peter Lavelle from repeatedly arguing that the United States had no hard evidence to tie Russia to the downing of MH17.

But Anna Belkina, head of communications at RT, denied to BuzzFeed the channel had been biased, saying that it did not toe the "party line" on the events surrounding the deadly crash.

"While we would love to provide the details of our communication with Ofcom and the facts and arguments that RT had presented to the regulator in support of our position, we cannot do so as it would violate the regulator’s rules," Belkina told BuzzFeed.

"Do we have the results of the investigation? It had barely begun. What happened to impartiality and factuality of the mainstream media? Apparently it is MIA."

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