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A screenshot of Russia Today's coverage of yesterday's Malaysia Airlines plane crash.

Russia Today reporter Sara Firth resigned this morning after accusing the state-run news channel of airing fake claims about yesterday’s Malaysian Airlines crash.

“It’s flying with that border of overtly lying,” Firth told BuzzFeed of Russia Today‘s coverage.

“Every single day we’re lying and finding sexier ways to do it,” she told BuzzFeed.

Malaysian Airlines flight 15 from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur was shot down yesterday.

The Guardian reported that Russia Today‘s coverage has “suggested Ukraine was to blame for the crash,”while most media organisations have said it was shot down by a suspected Russian-made missile.”

 


 

Firth, a “London-based correspondent,” said Russia Today was reporting with “total disregard to the facts.”

“We threw up eyewitness accounts from someone on the ground openly accusing the Ukrainian government [of involvement in the disaster], and a correspondent in the studio pulled up a plane crash before that the Ukrainian government had been involved in and said it was ‘worth mentioning,'” she said.

She added in an interview with The Guardian, “It was the most shockingly obvious misinformation and it got to the point where I couldn’t defend it any more.”

Earlier today, Firth tweeted:

 

 

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She also claimed “we do work for Putin.”

 

 

Russia Today denied Firth’s claims in a statement to BuzzFeed.

The new channel’s head of communications claimed Firth was already planning to leave Russia Today. Further, Russia Today said;

“Sara has declared that she chooses the truth; apparently we have different definitions of truth. We believe that truth is what our reporters see on the ground, with their own eyes, and not what’s printed in the morning London newspaper. In our coverage, RT, unlike the rest of the media, did not draw conclusions before the official investigation has even begun. We show all sides of the story, even if everyone else has already decided which side is to blame.”

Earlier this year, Russia Today anchor Liz Wahl resigned on air, Mashable reminded. She said her resignation was because Russia Today “whitewashes the actions of Putin.”

iMediaEthics is writing to Firth and Russia Today for comment.

UPDATE: 7/18/2014 12:14 PM EST

Anna Belkina, Russia Today‘s Head of Communications, sent iMediaEthics the statement it sent BuzzFeed regarding Firth. We’ve published it in full below:

“We were not surprised by Sara Firth’s decision to leave RT after 5 years as a Moscow and London correspondent, as she has recently informed us that she was likely to take an offer from another firm.

“The plane crash is an absolutely terrible tragedy, there are a lot of questions that surround it and everybody is looking for answers. More than 15 RT journalists are working on this story – from Moscow, from the Russian-Ukrainian border, London, Berlin, Washington. RT Spanish journalist Francisco Guaita was one of the first TV correspondents to get to the scene late last night. Our reporters are in the Netherlands and Malaysia.

“Sara has declared that she chooses the truth; apparently we have different definitions of truth. We believe that truth is what our reporters see on the ground, with their own eyes, and not what’s printed in the morning London newspaper. In our coverage, RT, unlike the rest of the media, did not draw conclusions before the official investigation has even begun. We show all sides of the story, even if everyone else has already decided which side is to blame.”

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‘We’re lying,’ Sara Firth quits Russia Today over Malaysia crash coverage

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