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OFCOM revokes Broadcast Licence for Russia Today

Ofcom has today revoked RT’s licence to broadcast in the UK, with immediate effect inline with sanctions imposed by the EU since the invasion of Ukraine commenced.

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We have done so on the basis that we do not consider RT’s licensee, ANO TV Novosti, fit and proper to hold a UK broadcast licence.

RT news is funded by Russia, which is currently invading Ukraine, a neighbouring sovereign country.

New laws in Russia criminalise any independent journalism that departs from the Russian state’s own news narrative, especially in relation to the invasion of Ukraine.

Today’s decision comes amid 29 ongoing investigations by Ofcom into the due impartiality of RT’s news and current affairs coverage of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. They consider the volume and potentially serious nature of the issues raised within such a short period to be of great concern – especially given RT’s compliance history, which has seen the channel fined £200,000 for previous breaches.

Ofcom has also launched a separate investigation to determine whether ANO TV Novosti is fit and proper to retain its licence to broadcast.

Ofcom consider that the constraints makes it impossible for RT to comply with the impartiality rules of our Broadcasting Code in the circumstances. Ofcom is therefore revoking RT’s licence to broadcast with immediate effect.

We take seriously the importance, in our democratic society, of a broadcaster’s right to freedom of expression and the audience’s right to receive information and ideas without undue interference. We also take seriously the importance of maintaining audiences’ trust and public confidence in the UK’s broadcasting regulatory regime.


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