“A lot of noise has been made in recent months by the mainstream media about the alleged bias in RT’s coverage on this tragedy; now Ofcom has looked into the issue and effectively found it all baseless,” RT editor-in-chief Margarita Simonyan said.
RT's broadcasts of the crash were brought to the attention of Ofcom after the media watchdog received a number of viewer complaints regarding its coverage of the incident from July 17 to 22, 2014.
According to the television channel, the media watchdog reviewed more than 30 hours of off-air recordings, concluding that complaints about insufficient impartiality and factuality against RT “did not raise issues warranting investigation.”
Ofcom also rejected claims that RT had shown graphic imagery in its breaking news segments on the MH17 crash, and found that the television channel had taken “sufficient steps to limit the potential for offense.”
Simonyan welcomed Ofcom’s decision, noting that RT has frequently struggled to get the mainstream media to accept the channel's "right to broadcast alternative points of view.”
“We believe that the existence of a range of media voices safeguards the vibrancy of debate,” she added.
In November 2014, RT was found guilty of breaching the United Kingdom’s media regulations in its coverage of the crisis in eastern Ukraine. The television channel, which seeks to provide an alternative viewpoint on international events, stressed its commitment to Ofcom’s guidelines.