Donbass: yesterday, today and tomorrow Archived Message
Posted by Ian M on July 20, 2022, 12:11 am, in reply to "Ofcom finds RT in breach of due impartiality rules"
The documentary Ofcom took exception to, 'alerted to this programme through monitoring and by complaints from viewers' (p.214), amazingly still up on youtube, though you have to sign in to prove your age, presumably because of explicit content: |
On Rumble here: https://rumble.com/vxzns0-donbass.-yesterday-today-and-tomorrow-true-documentary.html
(You might prefer to read Ofcom's fairly complete transcript, as it sounds like there's some pretty grim footage or war wounds, mass graves, torture etc.)
Again, no disputes of the factual basis, just saying that the historical events are 'contested' and not enough was done to show the other side of the story. Interestingly they admit the legitmacy of telling the Russian side of the story:
'Ofcom recognised that RT viewers would have expected to see programmes on the channel relating to the history of the conflict in the Donbas region of Ukraine from a predominantly Russian perspective. As stated above, in line with the right to freedom of expression, it was legitimate for RT to broadcast a programme on the history of the conflict in Ukraine from a Russian perspective and also to report on the allegations that were made by Russian officials and spokespersons about Ukrainian forces in the Donbas. We also recognised the public interest in documentrary makers including the personal perspectives of some Donbas residents to tell their stories about the impact the ongoing conflict has had on their lives, including making allegations of wrongdoing against the Ukranian military and government.'
'However, it was incumbent on TV Novosti to maintain due impartiality on this matter of major political controversy and major matter relating to current public policy by including a wide range of significant alternative viewpoints and giving them due weight in this programme or in clearly linked and timely programmes, including, for example, the perspective of the Ukrainian authorities.' - pp.242-3
RT's response seems perfectly fair & reasonable:
'we believe that there's no need (as our compliance trainers claimed re Ofcom's “impartiality” rules) to present equal “pro & contra” airtime to every single point of view expressed in a program (documentary)' - p.238
And the opening disclaimer to me indicates that Ofcom haven't got a leg to stand on:
“The opinions of the people who appear in this film are their own and do not necessarily reflect the policies or position of RTD. The Ukrainian authorities have been asked to comment on the issues presented in this film but have yet to respond” - p.242
Especially since RT note that 'Russian media is viewed by Ukraine as an “adversary” and that it had been “denied access to the ‘Ukrainian official position’ since March 2014”, along with other Russian TV channels' - p.238
Again, how many one-sided documentaries supportive of UK & western state/corporate power have we seen from the BBC over the years? And somehow they retain their license and Ofcom doesn't make any waves in spite of numerous complaints (I'll assume).
Funny old world, eh?