Ofcom has fined broadcaster RT £200,000 for “serious failures to comply with broadcasting rules.”
An investigation by Ofcom found that RT failed to preserve due impartiality in seven news and current affairs programmes between 17 March and 26 April 2018.
The regulator said taken together, the breaches represented “serious and repeated failures of compliance” with its rules. “We were particularly concerned by the frequency of RT’s rule-breaking over a relatively short period of time,” Ofcom continued.
The programmes were mostly in relation to the UK Government’s response to the events in Salisbury, and the Syrian conflict.
Ofcom has fined the broadcaster and has also directed it to broadcast a summary of its findings, in a form and on dates to be determined by Ofcom.
“We consider this sanction to be appropriate and proportionate,” said Ofcom. “They take into account the additional steps that RT has taken to ensure its compliance since we launched our investigations; and that we have not recorded any further breaches of our due impartiality rules against RT to date.”
The sanctions will not be enforced until an on-going judicial review brought by RT over Ofcom’s breach decisions is decided. Ofcom said it expects a full hearing to take place before the end of the year.