World Bulletin / News Desk
Britain’s media regulator on Monday censured the Russian government-backed RT broadcaster for failing to follow impartiality guidelines in programs on the conflict in Turkey’s southeast.
Ofcom said “due impartiality was not preserved” in two editions of Going Underground shown in March.
The programs contained criticism of Turkish policy and the treatment of Turkey's Kurdish population, including claims of a “genocidal war against the Kurds in Turkey”, but did not offer an opposing view from the Turkish government.
British media rules require U.K.-based broadcasters such as RT to show “due impartiality” in their news programs.
RT had argued it had not been able to persuade Turkish government representatives to participate in the programs because of diplomatic tensions between Russia and Turkey following the downing of a Russian warplane by the Turkish Air Force in November.
However, Ofcom dismissed RT’s defense. A spokesman said: “These programs breached our rules on due impartiality after airing highly critical views about the Turkish government, without an appropriate alternative viewpoint.
“We didn’t agree with RT’s claim that it wasn’t able to provide viewpoints to counter accusations that the Turkish Government was engaged in genocide against the Kurdish community, especially within Turkey, and was supporting ISIL.”
RT has now breached British broadcasting rules 15 times since it began broadcasting in the country 11 years ago.
The network, formerly known as Russia Today, is funded by the Russian government.