Ofcom has revoked the license of the Kremlin-backed UK broadcaster RT with immediate effect.
The television watchdog said RT’s licensee, ANO TV Novosti, was “unfit and appropriate” to hold the license amid 29 ongoing investigations into “reasonable fairness”. of their programs.
A statement released by the regulator on Friday said: “We consider the volume and potential seriousness of the issues raised in such a short period of time to be of great concern – in particular. is with RT’s compliance history, the channel was previously fined £200,000 for breaching fairness.
We have revoked RT’s UK broadcasting license with immediate effect.
We do not consider RT to be suitable and appropriate for a UK license and cannot be satisfied that it could be a responsible broadcaster.
– Ofcom (@Ofcom) March 18, 2022
“In this context, we have conducted a separate investigation to determine whether ANO TV Novosti is appropriate and appropriate to retain the broadcasting license.”
Ofcom said the decision to suspend the license came amid ongoing investigations into RT news and current affairs coverage of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson prior which has also called for a review of Ofcom.
RT is currently shutting down broadcasting in the UK due to the sanctions imposed.
Ofcom said it noted the new laws in Russia “effectively criminalize any independent press other than the Russian state’s own reporting”, particularly in relation to the invasion of Ukraine.
It added: “We consider that, given these constraints, RT is unlikely to comply with our broadcast code’s rules of fair play under the circumstances.
“We have concluded that we cannot be satisfied that RT can be a responsible broadcaster in the current circumstances.
“Therefore Ofcom is revoking RT’s broadcasting license with immediate effect.”
The media watchdog continued: “In our democratic society, we attach great importance to broadcasters’ right to freedom of expression and the audience’s right to receive information and ideas without excessive interference.
“We also value the importance of maintaining audience and public trust in the UK’s broadcast regulation.”
Freedom of speech is something we fiercely defend in this country, and the bar for the broadcasters to do the right thing is very high.Dame Melanie Dawes, Ofcom
Ofcom Dame chief executive Melanie Dawes said: “Freedom of expression is something we defend very strongly in this country, and the regulation of action for broadcasters is very high.
“Following an independent regulatory process, we have today found that RT is not suitable and appropriate for licensing in the UK.
“We have therefore revoked RT’s UK broadcast license.”
RT’s deputy editor-in-chief, Anna Belkina, said Ofcom’s decision to suspend the UK broadcaster’s broadcast license had “robbed” the British public of access to information.
Ofcom misrepresented RT as inappropriate and appropriate and in doing so robbed the UK public of access to informationAnna Belkina, RT
In a statement, she said: “Ofcom has shown the UK public and international regulatory community that, despite having a well-built independent facade, it is little more than a tool of government. , obeying their will to suppress the media.
“By ignoring RT’s completely clean record for four consecutive years and stating political reasons completely directly related to the situation in Ukraine and completely unrelated to operations, structure, management management or editorial output of RT, Ofcom misrepresented RT as inappropriate and appropriate. “and in doing so robs the UK public of access to information.”
The RT news website is still up and running, but its YouTube channel has been taken down.
https://www.independent.ie/entertainment/russian-broadcaster-rts-uk-licence-revoked-by-ofcom-41460449.html UK’s Russian TV station RT has its license revoked by Ofcom