Russia Today and the Truth

Does the online publication which claims to be Russia Today actually say anything about Russia Today? Or is it simply another manipulated and manipulative organism belonging to the “bought press” which is in fact nothing more than western propaganda, anti-Russian hysteria and political diatribes?

Let us analyse the latest e-mail from this supposed news publication: “As Russia Struggles in Run Up to St. Petersburg G8 Summit to Improve Declining International Image, Russia Today Offers Complete Event Coverage” How interesting. So, are we to hear about Russia’s bullish financial situation, the successful economic and Monetary policy, the rising salaries, the increase in the standard of living, better pensions, a sensible and measured social policy as market reforms are put into place, the new legislation regarding NGOs which protects the right of these organisms, defining the role of the state?

No, the first paragraph reads: “ WASHINGTON, June 14 - Faced with criticism over its treatment of smaller neighbors, lack of democracy and using energy to blackmail other nations, Russia has recently hired the U.S.-based PR agency Ketchum to improve its image in the West”.

So, the reports about Russia as host of the G8 are about Russia’s dreadful image in the west and the need to hire a US public relations outfit to improve its image? That’s responsible journalism, painting a black image of a country with so many positive things to write about? And who would need a US company to improve public relations, after Washington isolated itself with its act of butchery in Iraq?

The e-mail publicising Russia Today’s services goes on and on and on: “The Russian government has shown unusual penchant for appropriation of private assets, business-related bribes are estimated to exceed twice Russia's federal budget, corruption has permeated all strata of government from police to courts and the interconnection of the Putin clique and media has reached unprecedented levels - all these examples illustrate the significant deficiencies of Russia's political and business environment that the Kremlin would like to suppress from

the news”.

Enough. What a load of rubbish! What a pile of unadulterated nonsense! For the news of Russia Today, which obviously understands nothing about Russia – it is hosted in the USA and Czech Republic and obviously is controlled by those blinded by hatred of Russia – President Putin addressed these very issues in his recent speech, claiming that corruption is the number one priority in Russia and for the news of Russia Today, if it knew anything about Russia it would also know that the media is free.

How many guidelines do we have here in our newspaper as regards what we can and cannot say? None. How much influence does the Kremlin exert over us? None. How many meetings do we have with Kremlin officials on our editorial content? None. What is the sentence used by the Kremlin when questioned about this: “We have no guidelines, just tell the truth”.

In Russian, “Truth” is “PRAVDA”. As for what Russia Today is, good journalistic deontology prohibits me from saying here.



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Author`s name Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey