RT says it’s going to challenge a ruling by the Court of Appeal in London, which decided that the six-figure fine imposed by British broadcast regulator Ofcom for an alleged breach of impartiality rules was “proportionate.”
The Court of Appeal announced its decision on Tuesday, saying that the High Court of Justice was right to rule that the enforcement action taken by Ofcom against RT was “necessary in a democratic society” in order to protect the public. It added that the action taken was “proportionate.”
RT’s deputy editor-in-chief, Anna Belkina, reacted to the development by announcing that the broadcaster is planning to appeal the decision.
“We… firmly believe that both Ofcom’s code and the law have been misapplied,” she insisted. “We shall continue the fight to protect the validity of diverse views in media discourse.”
The British broadcast regulator imposed a huge fine of £200,000 ($276,000) on RT in July 2019 after saying earlier that it found seven instances of failure to adhere to the country’s impartiality rules.
The alleged violations occurred during coverage of such controversial issues as the suspected poisoning of double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter in Salisbury in 2018, as well as the role played by the US in the conflict in Syria, according to Ofcom. The regulator initiated most of the probes on its own, without receiving complaints from viewers.
RT has rejected the allegations of breaching impartiality rules and went to court to appeal against the regulator’s sanctions. It also insisted that the fine seemed “particularly inappropriate and disproportionate per Ofcom’s own track record,” pointing to instances in which cases of hate speech and incitement to violence resulted in much lower financial penalties.
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