After taking evidence from senior management at the outlets, the committee, however, failed to back up the assertion with any factual data. Radio Sputnik discussed the issue with Oliver Tickell, British journalist, author and campaigner, who launched a petition protesting NatWest’s decision to close RT’s bank accounts in the UK.
“When you say the UK, you have to be careful by that. Is it the UK government, the UK regulators; is it the UK parliament or the UK population? I just don’t think there is any collective will at all to shut RT but there certainly is a will perhaps mainly amongst those who monopolize the news narrative,” Tickell said.
According to the journalist, RT will most probably continue to operate under the watchful eye of bodies like Ofcom [The Office of Communications] which will be “ready to pounce on certain aspects of RT’s coverage.”allegations made against Russia and these allegations are repeated and amplified in the mainstream media both in America and in Britain to a point where people accept them as facts even though they have never seen any evidence to confirm that these allegations are correct.
“Another interesting thing about all of this is that there is confusion about the role of Russian media in Britain and elsewhere in Europe. The House of Lords report points out that the watching of RT accounts to 0.04% of British television viewing time. Then they say that it is very small, it is minute. So if it is so tiny why are you so worried about it?” the journalist said.
However, on the other hand, as Tickell pointed out the European Parliament says things like “hostile propaganda against the EU and its member states seeks to distort the truth, divide the EU and its North American partners, paralyze the decision making process, discredit EU institutions, and so on..”
“Gosh! Is it doing all that with such rather insignificant proportion of total viewing?” Tickell noted sarcastically.
In Britain many people think that BBC is impartial, however according to the journalist one way of making the news colored is by not telling one side of it. He gave an example of the coverage of the Syrian war and how while covering the city of Aleppo there were many reports about terror in Eastern Aleppo but there was nothing about how terrorists located in Eastern Aleppo were regularly firing and shelling the populated areas in Western Aleppo. That was omitted by the western media completely.
“RT made people realize that Western media is not objective at all,” Tickell said.
After accusing Russian media of making “fake news” the UK House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee failed to back up the assertion with any factual data. Responding to the accusations outlined in the report, RT and Sputnik said that the UK Parliament continues to exercise double standards towards Russian media.
RT’s chief editor Margarita Simonyan also slammed the report by saying that the MPs have simply failed to figure out how to close the channel. She added that while the authors of the report call to monitor RT for the presence of fake news, they cite mainstream media where false reports were found multiple times.