OFCOM Censuring Russia Today (RT), Did The Regulator Overreact?

By Willie Bone
Posted 6 July 2016, 10.29am edt

We are used to all kinds of media with a political agenda, whether its newspapers, radio or television in the UK. The latter is relatively recent in the multichannel digital age.
The UK audience could be considered long in the tooth with the potential to discern whether a news source is well belanced with the intention of being impartial or not!
We well respect the BBC, ITN and Sky, feeding us with reliable news information for most of the time!

The UK consumer also has an appetite for news sources, considered to have a right wing or left wing agenda! During the cold war, the UK was bombarded with political propaganda radio stations with a public service remit to inform,educate and entertain ''the masses'' under a banner called ''the revolutionary arts of socialist realism''. These public broadcasters from the east, generously funded propaganda output on their external radio services back in the 1960s to 80s era.
You could also pick up communist newpapers at most major newsagents in Scotland including the Soviet Weekly and the Morning Star.

Back to the modern digital television age, Russia Today (RT HD) is a news channel with an unsurprising Russian Federation perspective on output. It will inform and discuss topics with a Russian spin on things, tolerating minor criticism against Russia, but going full throttle with criticism against the west!
A fundamental addition to RT and other external broadcasters is the devolved status of output, including studios in selected major cities. So RT and Radio Sputnik have become external broadcasters with a live feed within several countries which have their respective rules on broadcast regulation.

If the current Communications Act in the UK tolerate newpapers of every political perspective, allowing newagents to censor out features they do not wish to print, but on the other hand, OFCOM do not tolerate radio and television of doing the same; the communications act should be reviewed and modified, accordingly!

Look forward to your feedback......


3 years, 5 months ago

RT has come in for numerous issues with Ofcom over breaching impartiality rules.

However, they haven't been as strict with Putin's propaganda channel. Iran's Press TV was stripped of it's licence to broadcast in the UK over similar issues.

RT has a UK-opt which they use to broadcast UK centric news bulletins on weekday evenings from London and to schedule different programming when the world feed broadcasts dubious programming which wouldn't meet Ofcom rules.

UK viewers can watch the world feed on RT's website which isn't regulated.

Newspapers aren't seen as influential as they used be, despite Murdoch's hold over the Conservative Party.

3 years, 5 months ago

I enjoyed watching France 24's coverage of the EU referendum which was entirely illegal under UK rules, yet being rebroadcast on Sky. Nobody appears to have made an issue of this. I'm unsure why.

3 years, 4 months ago

Me came!

  1. On some difference(s) between pure Soviet or communist "perspective" and this "Russian Federation's" of nowadays.
    Generally, average folks in the West knew the difference and stuff about "left" and "right". There usually was clear understanding of what is what, which point of view based on what "theories". It was discernible, people could more or less easily dig through either lies or "assumptions".
    Now this "RT business", it isn't based on any theory that's discernible - what & how they tell things. Even the things can be pure fiction delusional. Current "understanding"/"point of view" broadcast is pure mess based on the mental nuts of sick people, only loosely fed to thrive by some self-appointed goebbelses here. You can't discern good from bad, truth from lie, because there's no consecutive logic, no derivation there.

  2. On this "why this not that?" question.
    See, there is some difference between source of information that you read, and one that you can only perceive live-like, in real-time format. When you read, you take your own pace, you can take a moment to think, you can go back to a place, you can stop and cross-reference, you can go google, for that sake. Reading allows to perceive much more thoroughly than "real-time" broadcasting. On the other end, when you watch/listen, you are being fed real-time, no time to think, no breaks, no bathroom - "There is no bathroom!"(R) You say you can still take a piss? Well, you can - either instead or afterwards, but while something's being broadcast, it's being broadcast, and your brain has to deal with it when it happens, no other way.
    So I say, radio/TV propaganda seems to me different, more contagious, more dangerous. People can be much less immune to the lies broadcast than those printed.

Me have said:)

3 years, 4 months ago

Josh, if the UK communications regulator OFCOM censures RT HD, surely OFCOM should also take a look at Fox News and its ''over the top''right wing agenda?

Personally, I can tolerate RT HD and other news channels on UK satellite tv..

3 years, 4 months ago

Me agree:) sure. Reserving the semantic difference I mentioned.
I'd understand even if you had a North Korean channel prime time. They do have ideology - that is discernible and written books and dissertations on. Russian propaganda doesn't; let me compare it to, say, broadcasting peeing nationwide, puking primetime, etc. Brain porn mental, if you like (image)

Login or register to comment
It only takes a second with your Google or Facebook account.

- follow us on @minfodiscuss