Russia Today (RT) increases its often-controversial coverage of the United States.

Posted: 27 Aug 2010   Print   Send a link
New York Times, 22 August 2010, Andrew E. Kramer: "Russia Today has been broadcasting worldwide, in English, since 2005. Until a year ago, however, the focus fell exclusively on Russia. Coverage was more nuanced than offering lavish praise of the mother country’s fine grain harvest, but still intended to show Russia in a positive light. What is new is the channel’s effort to report news about the United States for an American audience. ... In the United States, the BBC is the most-watched foreign news company that receives government financing. The entire viewership for foreign-government-sponsored news in the United States, including Russia Today, Al Jazeera English and others, is still so minuscule that Nielsen, the ratings agency, said it did not break out the numbers for such stations. ... With television news budgets drying up in the United States, state or public channels may find a larger role, Nicholas Lemann, dean of the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, said in a telephone interview. 'Any means you come up with to pay for journalism is potentially corrupting,' he said. 'It’s really how you build a firewall between the news gathering and the funding.' The problem with Russia Today, he said, is that 'there is no firewall, and you can infer that from watching.' ... 'The Americans have a view of Russia and they show it to us,' Aleksei Makarkin, an analyst at the Institute of Political Technology, a Moscow think tank, said in a telephone interview. 'Russians have a point of view about America, too, and we want to show it to you.'" -- Hmmm, surrogate broadcasting, Russian style. The article mentioned -- once -- the change of the channel's name to RT. Otherwise, it was referred to as "Russia Today" throughout the piece. This was not a successful rebranding exercise.

Creative Boom Liverpool, 27 August 2010: "Martyn Andrews ... has worked with many global networks, from the BBC to Russia Today where he presents programs centred around the cultural aspects of modern Russia. Shows such as 'A Prime Recipe', 'Moscow Out' and the travel programme 'Wayfarer' – which has seen Martyn clock up some serious air miles, visiting over 500 countries across 4 continents. ... CB – What was it about Moscow that influenced your decision to take that direction in your career? MA – I had worked for the BBC, a English speaking TV channel in Israel and one in New York, I was back in London doing a journalism course and hosting 'Lounge Living TV' when I heard that Al Jazeera, France 24 and Russia Today were all launching. They were all new English speaking international news channels aimed at giving a different media voice to the world. I met up with RT in London, originally for a news presenter position. I wasn’t given a job. A few weeks later I emailed them ten reasons why they should hire me. The offer came through. A contract and a one way ticket to Moscow! I had worked with Russians before in New York and loved their passion, craziness and energy. So I thought.. 'Oh why not..' Plus I knew that Moscow was one of the most exciting, developing cities bursting with money, excitement and opportunity!" -- Five hundred countries? Maybe 500 places, as there are only 192 United Nations member countries.