UK broadcast regulator OfCom fined RT, formerly known as Russia Today, £200,000 (about $250,000) for breaking broadcast guidelines.
In an announcement on its website, OfCom explained the fine is for seven programs that broke due impartiality guidelines. RT also has to broadcast “a summary of our findings.” iMediaEthics has written to OfCom to ask what happens if RT doesn’t pay the fine and comply.
OfCom ruled against the programs in December, finding they were a “serious failure of compliance with our broadcasting rules.” The programs, broadcast in 2018, reported on the poisonings of Sergei and Yulia Skripal, the Syrian war, and Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, as iMediaEthics previously reported. OfCom found the seven programs were biased,
RT disputed the rulings, denying it broke the guidelines and ultimately took the issue to court.
In response, an RT spokesperson told iMediaEthics by e-mail, “It is very wrong for Ofcom to have issued a sanction against RT on the basis of its breach findings that are currently under Judicial Review by the High Court in London.”
The spokesperson continued, noting that RT took OfCom’s December rulings to court and is currently in process. RT also called the penalty “particularly inappropriate and disproportionate.”