British Broadcast Regulator Officially Bans Russian News Network RT

( Ofcom, the British broadcasting regulator, this month withdrew the broadcasting license for Russia Today (RT) in the United Kingdom. RT, an English-language Russian network, was a popular alternative media platform in the UK that not only shared news and had a television network, but which had a wide range of British commentators signed up and even a popular social media presence.

In response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, however, the British government has done all it can to prevent Russian disinformation about the invasion from being spread to RT viewers and readers.

In a statement on March 18, Ofcom wrote:

“We have revoked RT’s license to broadcast in the UK with immediate effect. We do not consider RT to be fit and proper to hold a UK license and cannot be satisfied that it can be a reasonable broadcaster.”

Dame Melanie Dawes, the chief executive of Ofcom, said that an independent regulatory process had determined that RT was not “fit and proper” to hold a license in the United Kingdom and that it will no longer be able to operate in the United Kingdom.

According to the regulator, the network has not been able to comply with impartiality rules that media outlets are required to follow in the United Kingdom, specifically relating to Russian foreign policy.

Presumably one of the reasons why Russia simply can’t be trusted on the issue of the Ukrainian invasion is that all Russian outlets and journalists are required by Russian law to refer to the invasion of Ukraine as a “special military operation” and to side firmly against NATO.