GLASGOW, July 24 (RIA Novosti), Mark Hirst - UK's broadcasting regulator, Ofcom, is unlikely to mount a “credible investigation” after receiving a handful of complaints about RT television channel’s coverage of the Malaysian Boeing crash in Eastern Ukrainian, an expert in media studies told RIA Novosti.
“Three TV viewers said the RT coverage was not objective and one complained about video footage of dead bodies. RT has more than two million viewers, so these complaints represent a very small group,” said Professor John Robertson of the University of the West of Scotland.
“Ofcom on the basis of four complaints seems unlikely to be able to mount any credible investigation,” Robertson added.
Ofcom confirmed it had requested copies of the footage and would not launch a probe until it reviewed the mentioned material.
Robertson said the “low quality” of reporting by what he described as the “Anglo-American corporate media” in the period immediately after the crash and before any hard evidence had been gathered.
“Lacking all the balance, restraint and use of reliable evidence expected of serious reporting, the early coverage was hysterical in tone and uncritically repeated the line, coming from the USA. The evidence from the US intelligence agencies was not shared. Broadcasters were expected to trust it without question,” Robertson added.
“UK Prime Minister David Cameron repeated the US line. Similar and even more hysterical announcements from the Ukrainian regime, accusing President Putin directly and attributing deliberate, ‘evil’ intent on his part were not questioned, even by BBC presenters,” Robertson said.
The academic, who earlier this year published evidence of significant bias at the BBC, said the approach taken in the coverage of the MH17 disaster by UK media organisations was not a new phenomenon.
“The early media condemnation of alleged culprits in Ireland, Libya and Bosnia followed by too late retractions is all too typical of our subservient media,” Robertson told RIA Novosti.
Last Thursday, Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur was downed and crashed near the city of Donetsk in eastern Ukraine, killing all 298 people on board, including 283 passengers and 15 crew members.