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Conflict Between Russia And Germany Grows Over Russian TV Channel

April 6th, 2021 12:37

Ger­man media report­ed last month on a grow­ing dis­pute between Ger­many and Rus­sia over the estab­lish­ment of an  RT (for­mer­ly Rus­sia Today) TV chan­nel in Ger­many. Accord­ing to the Deutsche Welle report, the chances for the project appear slim:

March 5, 2021 A dis­pute between Berlin and Moscow over the estab­lish­ment of a Russ­ian state-backed TV chan­nel in Ger­many heat­ed up on Fri­day after the Russ­ian For­eign Min­istry accused the Ger­man gov­ern­ment of vio­lat­ing press free­doms. The dis­pute arose regard­ing the chan­nel RT — for­mer­ly Rus­sia Today — the Ger­man off­shoot of which announced a plan in Jan­u­ary to set up a tele­vi­sion sta­tion in Ger­many by the end of the year. The media pol­i­cy spokesper­son for the lib­er­al Free Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty (FDP) in the Ger­man par­lia­ment, Thomas Hack­er, told DW on Fri­day that RT’s chances of get­ting legal per­mis­sion to broad­cast in the coun­try were slim.“If RT Deutsch wants a reg­u­lar place among the TV sta­tions, then it will inevitably always need a Ger­man broad­cast­ing license. But the sta­tion will prob­a­bly not get one, because broad­cast­ing licens­es right­ly require state inde­pen­dence,” he said. RT, based in Moscow, already offers ser­vices in Eng­lish, Span­ish, Ara­bic and French. RT DE, as the Ger­man-lan­guage off­shoot is called, launched its web­site in 2014. Open loop­holes in broad­cast­ing reg­u­la­tions The Media Insti­tute Berlin Bran­den­burg (MABB) told DW on Fri­day that RT DE had said it would abide by the Ger­man legal broad­cast­ing framework.

Read the rest here.

In 2017, the NYT char­ac­ter­ized RT as follows:

Ana­lysts are sharply divid­ed about the influ­ence of RT. Point­ing to its minus­cule rat­ings num­bers, many cau­tion against over­stat­ing its impact. Yet focus­ing on rat­ings may miss the point, says Peter Pomer­ant­sev, who wrote a book three years ago that described Russia’s use of tele­vi­sion for pro­pa­gan­da. “Rat­ings aren’t the main thing for them,” he said. “These are cam­paigns for finan­cial, polit­i­cal and media influ­ence.” RT and Sput­nik pro­pel those cam­paigns by help­ing cre­ate the fod­der for thou­sands of fake news prop­a­ga­tors and pro­vid­ing anoth­er out­let for hacked mate­r­i­al that can serve Russ­ian inter­ests, said Ben Nim­mo, who stud­ies RT for the Atlantic Coun­cil. What­ev­er its impact, RT is unques­tion­ably a case study in the com­plex­i­ty of mod­ern pro­pa­gan­da. It is both a slick mod­ern tele­vi­sion net­work, dressed up with great visu­als and styl­ish pre­sen­ters, and a con­tent farm that helps feed the Euro­pean far right. View­ers find it dif­fi­cult to dis­cern exact­ly what is jour­nal­ism and what is pro­pa­gan­da, what may be “fake news” and what is real but pre­sent­ed with a strong slant.

Past Glob­al Influ­ence Oper­a­tions Report (GIOR) report­ing on RT has included:

A Jan­u­ary report on a new Wash­ing­ton, DC pro­duc­tion com­pa­ny incor­po­rat­ed by an indi­vid­ual who has held var­i­ous posi­tions at RT

A Novem­ber 2020 report on Russ­ian dis­in­for­ma­tion efforts tar­get­ing the EU and with a par­tic­u­lar empha­sis on Russ­ian-backed media oper­a­tions such as RT (for­mer­ly Rus­sia Today) and Sputnik.

A Novem­ber 2020 report on an RT OpEd sug­gest­ing that “US democ­ra­cy real­ly is in its death throes.”