In December, the UK media regulator Ofcom published a study on the content of RT broadcasts in England, highlighting a number of violations that could lead to further sanctions.
As a rule, Ofcom releases found violations on Mondays in their published overview, but as an exception, on December 20, a 190-page survey was published, which revealed seven violations for the period from 17 March to 26 April 2018. Seven violations within six weeks are considered significant by Ofcom because of the very high number of infringements in such a short time.
Two of the seven violations concerned Sergei Skripal’s poisoning, four were related to chemical attacks in Syria as well as the systematic praise of Nazism by the Ukrainian government. Ofcom found that RT’s broadcasts were biased and predominantly presented Russian official viewpoints.
The violations occurred in the RT programs, Sputnik, Worlds Appart and Crosstalk, as well as in the morning and evening news. „Sputnik“ and „Worlds Appart“ broadcasts are weekly broadcasts and Crosstalk broadcasts three times a week.
The British media regulator, Ofcom can terminate the broadcasting of the media channel on the basis of the found violations, demand corrections from the program broadcasters, punish the channel with a fine of up to 225,00 pounds sterling as well as shorten, suspend or cancel the channel’s license.
Even though Russia’s RT channel is constantly under the attention of the UK media, with an audience of about 122,000, it only makes up 0.02%. of the total auditorium.
Every once in awhile disputes about the distribution and content of Russian channels clearly indicate the need for a similar media regulator in Estonia. One does not have to look far for examples of obvious misrepresentation of Estonia in the Russian channels transmitting here. An example of the latter is the REN TV Estonia channel’s broadcast in January, „Military Secrets with Igor Prokopenko“ where the topic was the defence capability of Estonia and misinformation was abundantly given about the Estonian Navy.