May 4 2022, 15:39 pm

BBC Given Emergency Funding to Counter Russian Disinformation on Ukraine War

UK media report­ed last month that the BBC World Ser­vice would receive £4.1 mil­lion in emer­gency fund­ing from the UK gov­ern­ment to help it counter Russ­ian dis­in­for­ma­tion about the war in Ukraine. Accord­ing to a report by the Evening Standard:

March 25, 2022 The BBC World Ser­vice will receive £4.1 mil­lion in emer­gency fund­ing from the Gov­ern­ment to help it counter dis­in­for­ma­tion about the war in Ukraine.  The broad­cast­er has been giv­en the mon­ey to sup­port its Ukrain­ian and Russ­ian lan­guage ser­vices in the face of “increased pro­pa­gan­da from the Russ­ian state”.  Fol­low­ing a BBC request, the Depart­ment for Dig­i­tal, Cul­ture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and the For­eign, Com­mon­wealth and Devel­op­ment Office will pro­vide the extra fund­ing to cov­er urgent and unex­pect­ed costs that have arisen due to the con­flict. The DCMS said the fund­ing will help the BBC relo­cate staff and oper­a­tions to safe loca­tions so they can con­tin­ue their report­ing on the war. It will also go towards devel­op­ing new and more wide­ly acces­si­ble con­tent deliv­ered through a range of chan­nels – includ­ing TV, radio and dig­i­tal.  The BBC will also use the mon­ey to “tack­le dis­in­for­ma­tion” and to “help local audi­ences cir­cum­vent the Kremlin’s media restric­tions and con­tin­ue to access the BBC’s journalism”.

Read the rest here.

The Evening Stan­dard report notes that Russ­ian author­i­ties have been restrict­ing access to for­eign and inde­pen­dent media out­lets, includ­ing the main BBC web­sites, as the coun­try con­tin­ues its inva­sion of Ukraine. Since Rus­sia invad­ed Ukraine, the UK gov­ern­ment has increased its resources to counter Russ­ian dis­in­for­ma­tion and influ­ence oper­a­tions. These efforts have included:

  • In March, the UK gov­ern­ment sanc­tioned 14 Russ­ian enti­ties and peo­ple, includ­ing state media orga­ni­za­tions, for spread­ing “fake news and narratives.”
  • In March, Ofcom announced that due to Russia’s new laws, which effec­tive­ly crim­i­nal­ize any inde­pen­dent jour­nal­ism, it revoked RT’s license to broad­cast in the UK. British busi­ness­man Christo­pher Wood, run­ning the firm behind the UK arm of RT, has earned more than £2m from the firm in just three years.
  • In Feb­ru­ary, BBC News pub­lished a guide to the meth­ods used by pro-Krem­lin media out­lets in their infor­ma­tion war against Ukraine.


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