00:40 GMT +326 March 2017
    Control room of the Russia Today English-language newsroom

    Fact Checking for Dummies: RT Teaches Its Critics a Few Things About Journalism

    © Sputnik/ Evgeny Biyatov
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    Waging a valiant crusade against what they perceive as ‘Russian propaganda’, certain Western media outlets apparently tend to forget about bothersome and insignificant things like facts and fact checking.

    As the number of articles blaming RT for destabilizing political situation in Western countries, disseminating propaganda and generally telling things that Western power brokers don’t like, the patience of Russia Today’s journalists was wearing thin.

    And when the Washington Post published an article titled ‘If Russia Today is Moscow’s Propaganda Arm, It’s Not Very Good at Its Job’, they decided to teach the newspaper a lesson – that is, a lesson of fact checking and actual journalism.

    First things first, WaPo accused the Russian news agency of denigrating former US Secretary of State and presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, referring to some kind of (video) "segment" called 'Clinton and ISIS Funded by the Same Money', and "casting doubt on the outcome of the U.S. election with clips like "Trump Will Not be Permitted to Win."

    Problem is, the video in question which provoked said accusations is not some sort of RT original production, but rather an interview with Julian Assange, the license for which was purchased by RT from Dartmouth Films.

    Likewise, simply browsing the RT news archives reveals that WaPo's claims about the Russian news agency promoting Donald Trump and badmouthing Hillary Clinton during the US presidential election are equally baseless: the 2016 election was clearly regarded as 'choosing between two evils' by RT.

    Also, the WaPo author’s attempts to determine exactly how many people visit the RT website and YouTube channel hit a little snag – it turns out that she based her conclusions on data from 2012.

    And claims about RT mostly attracting attention via viral video hits online doesn’t even require comprehensive debunking – one only needs to compare the number of views of the aforementioned viral videos and, for example, ‘non-viral videos’ like Donald Trump’s victory speech or the live US election day special coverage.

    ​Ironically enough, the claims that RT’s influence and audience size is vastly overrated appears a bit strange, to put it mildly, considering the amount of attention the news agency received in the recent US intelligence community report.

    ​"Let us hope that next time US media agencies will put more effort into their attacks against ‘unpopular, Trump-loving Kremlin propaganda mouthpiece that virtually has no audience’, using facts and providing links to sources instead of resorting to unconfirmed statements, fake reports and unfounded figures. But, to be honest, we’re not holding our breath," the RT article concludes.


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    • avatar
      Freddie Gray riots, not protests. I know the DC bureaus know better than that. I know people with first hand knowledge. It was apparently terrifying.

      We have Amazon’s Jeff Bezos buying the Washington Post and turning it into a more complete propaganda factory than ever, publishing, for example, a scurrilous, libelous list of Internet sites said to be under Russian influence, a list obtained from an “anonymous source” which almost certainly just happen to reside in Langley, Virginia.

      It is simply about the arrogance of power, a phrase the late Senator Fulbright wrote years ago to describe America’s murderous and pointless crusade in Vietnam.
    • avatar
      I seem to be wondering if I am missing something here. With all of the "propaganda" coming out of RT and Sputnik, has either outlet been found to have printed or spoken anything that later was considered to be an untruth? I thought that, in order for propaganda to exist, that there has to be an element of truth. so egregious, that there was no mistaken its intention to deceive. What have I missed?
    • avatar
      marcanhaltin reply toJOHN CHUCKMAN(Show commentHide comment)
      JOHN CHUCKMAN, I could not agree with you more on this particular comment
    • avatar
      RT, please, please fix that comments section. It's embarrassing.
    • Gary F.
      When you discuss about the matter of truth and the real, you inevitably face the questions on the science, society and indeed the 3rd dimension of power. Once someone hits you with the charge of "truth" or "untruth" and demands your defence on the matter, then you know that you are hitting the core concepts which usually are not so much visible. Once someone says journalism is about delivering the truth, please then run away fast. So far so good, yet the philosophy and theory of truth cannot be solved by military might. That what invalidates and dissolves the assumed superiority of the former post-ww2 states. Military might that once was born to serve the truth is not able to defend it any more. That is also a good thing. Journalism is not about delivering the truth, not at least when we are not talking with Gobbels. The issue may be, that some societies are so shaken and worried because their whole system of governance and the identity has been built on top of the fragile and vague concept of truth. Look around the world! What is truth? The least thing we can say about that, is that the absence of that does invalidate the cruel argument of capital punishment. Think about that. Think well.
    • avatar
      This is the continuation of a strange phenomenon: Russia is at the same time called a threat and a danger, and a weak, collapsing country.

      Now added to that the WaPo is first saying that RT manipulated the election with pro-Trump news stories, and then says that RT is bad at spreading propaganda.

      So which one is it? Russia is a threat and manipulates people, or it is collapsing and bad at propaganda? Can't have it both ways.

      Maybe these lying fools realized that with all these false accusations they were making Russia look too strong, and are back-pedaling. After all, Russia cannot be made to look good and anything that it does as effective.

      These morons are confused, and have a dilemma on their hands...
    • avatar
      double bonus
      [Ironically enough, the claims that RT’s influence and audience size is vastly overrated appears a bit strange, to put it mildly, considering the amount of attention the news agency received in the recent US intelligence community report.]

      Why do they continue to attack a channel like RT, that nobody watches
      and has no audience? This isn't even about RT or Russia anyways.

      Some negro from Atlanta is trying to delegitimize the election, by creating contribution profit-centers for black churches, along with inciting fake protests.
    • avatar
      you've got to enjoy and appreciate the comments from people from all over the world on this site! :) Thanks guys!
    • avatar
      Antares Prime
      They're just shocked that they don't have the American audience all to themselves anymore, and they don't like it. Attack the messenger is typical strategy for American corporate media who no longer have a message relevant to the people.
    • avatar
      In terms of allowing posters to post their opinions, RT is the worst that I am aware of. Moderators are extremely bias, incompetent and fascists. They would allow abusive language from one side and ban those who respond to the abusive people.
    • avatar
      I didn't realize who that was, Alexey Yaroshevsky. Probably my favorite RT reporter when I watched RT. Great comments in his Twitter about Trump's response to Lewis, really like the objectivity and professionalism. So many in journalism write to persuade and not inform.
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