Is Russia Today biased? ‘Facts are my religion’, says London reporter

Discussion in 'The Pavilion' started by Atacoplease, Apr 9, 2013.

  1. Atacoplease Artificial Turf Eater

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    Kremlin-funded television station Russia Today (RT) has been getting a bad press recently. In the second half of 2012 Ofcom judged that the station, which broadcasts on Sky in the UK, breached the broadcasting code on impartiality for coverage in Egypt and then Syria. In the UK press, RT has been described as the “Kremlin propaganda channel” by The Guardian’s former Russia correspondent Luke Harding. And in the US, Julia Ioffe, writing for the Columbia Journalism Review, claimed the station was conceived “to counter the anti-Russian bias the Kremlin saw in the Western media”. But British Sara Firth, 27, a foreign correspondent for the station based in London, insists this perceived image is false. “Facts are my religion,” she says. “When it comes to covering a story if anyone asked me to alter or drop something I’d be out. I wouldn’t think twice about it.” Despite Russia’s poor reputation, Firth insists she has never once been asked to compromise her work. “There are a lot of conspiracy theories concerning RT but I personally have never come into contact with it and wouldn’t tolerate it.” Firth went to work in Moscow after doing a postgraduate investigative journalism course at City University London in 2009. Previously, she had only spent a week in Russia, having done some work experience at The Moscow Times. She admits there were some difficulties during her time in the capital – not least that she couldn’t speak a word of Russian – but insists that press freedom wasn’t one of them. “It’s different for RT because we are an English language news channel and we broadcast internationally,” she says. “We would not get away with not covering the Moscow protests and the Pussy Riot trial. So it is different to the Russian internal media – how they operate I wouldn’t really know. I know from the Russian correspondents I come into contact with that a fair amount of self-censorship comes into it.” After initially working on the newsdesk Firth got a “lucky break” and became a correspondent. Then, after establishing herself on home soil, she was made a foreign correspondent, traveling to areas across Europe and the Middle East. Firth says there can be added pressures working for a Russian channel – especially in Syria, where she has been on three separate occasions. “Obviously being a Russian channel, having the Russian affiliation, was a big issue,” she says. “You don’t want to live up to their ideas about being a Russian channel that is only covering it from the Russian side – because that is certainly not what I do. I have no sympathy for the government at all and I have said that from the beginning.”

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    On one occasion earlier this year, after following the UN into the Syrian town of Idlib, a “no-go” zone experiencing “civil war”, Firth became at serious risk when word got out that representatives from Russia were in her party of nine. “I think one of the drivers let slip that there were Russian television people there. I didn’t speak Arabic but the Reuters correspondent with us did and everything got a little bit rowdy,” she says. “One of the guys said: ‘We’re going to hang them! We’re going to hang them!’ And he was running up the street to get more people. Luckily they couldn’t work out who among us was Russian and we had to go with the UN to the next government check-point and then they drove us to a road that was a safe area where we could drive back to Damascus.” Another of Firth’s more harrowing experiences came while reporting on this summer’s riots in Athens. A video of her inhaling tear gas and collapsing on the street in the middle of the riot went viral on the internet when it was picked up by a number of news websites, including the UK’s Metro. “It looked way more dramatic than it was,” she says. “You always hope that your story is going to reach a much wider audience. Not quite like that, maybe, but you really want it to hit people between the eyes. “You see the BBC and CNN correspondents and you watch what’s going out on other channels and they all had live feeds from hotel balconies. But we were really hungry to get that story so we just ploughed into the middle of it. We got too close, obviously.” Reflecting on the experience, she says: “What I learnt from that is that I now know the hotels and the guys who put the barriers up, so it’s all become quite familiar. The only thing is I need to be bit more careful.

    I took a course and am more aware of that now.“But I never lost that desire to be out on the streets with people who are there doing it. This austerity story is such a boring topic in so many ways but then it is also everything – it affects everyone – and you can’t do it if you’re on a balcony without being in their shoes, standing where they are. You can’t put that story into context legitimately and accurately unless you are there.” Despite recently moving back to London, Firth’s heart remains in foreign reporting and she is already plotting her next job move. Now learning Arabic, she is determined to base herself in the Middle East in “two or three years”. On her move to the RT London office, she says: “It felt like the right time. Moscow is a really amazing place for a journalist to work for a certain amount of time but it definitely got to the point where coming back to Moscow from doing foreign stories felt like going from 100 to zero. You’d be in the middle of a great story and then you’re back in Moscow. It feels very far away. I feel like I get that back in London. “Moscow is a bit more flexible – you start a little later because it’s a 24-hour city. You go out to dinner at 3am. There are no weekends. But it was time to come back. I knew it was the right move to make for my career because I was pushing myself further. But Firth is still determined to move on. “I fell in love with the Middle East when covering Syria and Cairo. It’s definitely where I see my future career going. It almost felt like coming home when I was reporting on stories there. I love the people, I love the culture and it really felt very natural to me.”

    story continues--

    http://www.pressgazette.co.uk/russia-today-biased-‘facts-are-my-religion’-says-london-reporter
  2. Atacoplease Artificial Turf Eater

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    I am not sure of their censorship in Russia but it seems like outside of Russia they appear to be fairly libertarian, and cover things that CNN is too pussy to cover.

    They have a strong presence on youtube: http://www.youtube.com/user/RussiaToday with nearly 1 billion views on their videos, with 750,000+ subscribers.

    They neutrally cover people like Marine Le Pen -

    They even have a controversial show called The Julian Assange Show - http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL19A6F6A10DCFB253

    Their motto is Question More. The RT wiki is here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RT_(TV_network)

    Here is the
    Objectivity and bias part of the Wiki:

  3. Fitz Bar Regular

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    Rt at some point became alot more jewwwy in their reporting.
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  4. Angroid CyberSperg 1138

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    The question isn't whether RT is "biased" since ALL, EACH AND EVERY SOURCE OF INFORMATION carries with it a degree of bias.

    The question, rather, is whether RT is biased to the degree that it has lost all credibility as the Western Mainstream Media has already done for example BBC, Fox, CNN, MSNBC etc.

    Imo RT is somewhat more honest than the established players. It isn't perfect. Various levels of bias emanating from various sources can from time to time be detected in reports. It varies with the reporter, the event etc.

    Let's take a look at the accusers:

    From whom?

    Ofcom is a tool of the British Establishment.
    The British Establishment (meaning Govt, Elites) are heavily invested in fomenting Muslim Brotherhood (which is the parent organisation of Al-Qaeda) activities across the Middle East.

    Obviously Ofcom will judge that RT (which takes a pro-Syrian Govt view and who were sceptical about the revolution in Egypt, Tunisia, Libya etc) are "biased".

    Why?

    Because Ofcom / British Establishment / British Propaganda machine are in lockstep with ZOG, Al-Qaeda and "Arab Spring" and therefore they are at loggerheads with RT.

    Conclusion: According to Ofcom, "RT is biased" but Ofcom itself is biased, probably even more so.

    The Guardian is a Soros / ZOG / Marxist rag. The Guardian is in the same British Establishment / ZOG camp as Ofcom.

    Luke Harding from The Guardian is a known plagiarist who got caught copy and pasting articles from "The Exile" (a now defunct American Gonzo journalism magazine which used to be based in Russia) into his Guardian columns.

    He is also very thick with Edward Lucas from The Economist, an established and well known hater of almost all things Russian and Putin in particular.
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  5. Ozzy Bon Halen LOLworthy Threadmonkey & Critic Of Texas Dentistry

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    Russia Today rocks like a hurricane. They not only employ tons of hawt eyecandy chix, but the hawtness is just the icing on the cake. Teh j00z are very fond of bombing their middle eastern offices and studios because teh jooz can't stand that RT tells the truth. Here's a great show featuring RT's Abby Martin calling out some douchewipe Israeli spokesman for bombing RT's office building.
    (she calls them out for the office bombing @ about 8:00)



    Here's more j00 complaint about RT.
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  6. Bluto Drunken lout

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    Biased? What da fuck ain't?
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    True........id bang that Abby Martin any day of the week.

    Anyway RT is the only news source i read nowdays online.........and if i switch on the electronic jew at home ill tune in to RT or Al Jaz for the news.
    RT do some good docs as well.
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  8. Ozzy Bon Halen LOLworthy Threadmonkey & Critic Of Texas Dentistry

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    Scroll to 16:20 @ following video and you can see the once infamous RT "Twitter Promo" commercial featuring all the bangable chicks on RT (RT deleted that piece o' eye candy off their youtube channel, I don't know why).


    Sure, Lauren Lyster is way better looking than Abby Martin.
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    But Lauren Lyster looks like someone who does Yoga, has ten cats and only has sex once every two years and only then in the missionary position, with the lights out after ten o'clock. Abby Martin looks like a very naughty girl by comparison. She might be up for a blumpkin maybe.

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  9. Atacoplease Artificial Turf Eater

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    Here is a good short 25 minutes documentary on ol' Boris who just passed away recently:

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  10. DerDer Bar Regular

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    I find it quite a good channel. There is a certain level of bias but about the same or less than BBC et all. Also as previously mentioned they cover stories left out by other news networks. Of course there is also the draw of the attractive hosts.
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  11. Atacoplease Artificial Turf Eater

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    One of the things that works to the average viewer of RT, is that they cover crap CNN and BBC are afraid to. Now obviously it's in the best interest of Russia or whatever to do so, but it correctly informs us people in the Anglo-sphere what the hell is really going on.
  12. Angroid CyberSperg 1138

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    I've been out there a couple of times. There are a few State Channels which are basically the Putin / Medvedev show. They have another channel which is basically a "Neo-Soviet" channel, a kind of patriotic channel which broadcasts a lot of Soviet Union nostalgia material from around WW2 until the 1990's.

    There are also loads of independent channels. There's even a fkn Hasidic channel (a friend said they operate out of New York???) which is broadcast there on local cable TV. As you can imagine this particular channel contains kikery, kikery and more kikery.

    It's not unusual to see presenters rip into politicians and corruption on Russian TV. Anything goes during live TV debates with politicians. From time to time it descends into violence and chaos. The public rate and score debates while they are ongoing. The kinds of topics which are covered there... I cannot imagine ever seeing this kind of stuff on a Western TV channel. It just doesn't exist because this kind of thing would prove embarrassing to the high & mighty in Western countries yet in Russia anything goes.....

    Walk to any newsagent (there are loads of these little kiosks in the cities) and they have newspapers and magazines catering for every conceivable taste.

    If there is "draconian censorship" in Russia I guess nobody told me about it or I must have missed it because I don't recall encountering any.

    Like I said, the State TV channels obviously broadcast Kremlin friendly news & views but there are plenty of other channels to choose from as well.

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