Russia launches probe into BBC programming in response to Ofcom ‘in breach’ rulings on RT

21.12.2018 13:19

Russia launches probe into BBC programming in response to Ofcom ‘in breach’ rulings on RT

The Russian media regulator will probe the programming of BBC World News, which is available in the country, in response to a decision of its British counterpart, which found RT in breach of its rules in seven cases.

In addition to the TV broadcast, the Roskomnadzor (RKN) will check the content of BBC websites to see if it breaches the Russian regulations, the watchdog said in a statement on Friday.

Commenting on the development, the Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson said the probe was “long overdue.”

“I sincerely sympathize with the correspondents of BBC, many of whom are real professionals who honestly do their journalistic duty. But the rude interference of the British government with the work of the Russian media (the propaganda targeting RT, attempts to smear journalists etc.) leave us no choice but to respond in equal,” Maria Zakharova wrote on her Facebook page. “Russia warned them. Repeatedly.”

The BBC responded to the news, saying it was abiding by the laws of every nation, in which it provides its service.

It comes a day after Ofcom, the British media regulator, published a report on its investigation of RT. Out of ten cases reviewed, it ruled seven to be in violation of impartiality rules. Of those, five are episodes of talk shows hosted by George Galloway and Peter Lavelle and two are news pieces.

RT responded to the Ofcom ruling, saying it was disappointed with it. “We operate under rules outlined by the regulator, and always strive to abide by them. It appears Ofcom has failed to fully take on board what we said in response to its investigations and, in particular, has not paid due regard to the rights of a broadcaster and the audience,” the channel said in a statement.