- Title: BRITAIN-MEDIA/RUSSIA TODAY Russia Today launches UK news channel
- Date: 30th October 2014
- Summary: LONDON, ENGLAND, UK (OCTOBER 30, 2014) (REUTERS) (SOUNDBITE) (English) RUSSIA TODAY UK SENIOR CORRESPONDENT, LAURA SMITH, SAYING: "We urge viewers to tune in and watch and decide for yourselves whether it's unbiased. Our viewing figures in other parts of the world show that our audiences are very confident in the content we provide. Viewing figures in the US are constantly growing, we now have over two billion hits on Youtube. So we just want viewers to decide for themselves."
- Embargoed: 14th November 2014 12:00
- Topics: General
- Reuters ID: LVA3TI5UPSIFVV6L4TKPWBWW8ABL
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- Story Text: RT, a Kremlin-funded broadcaster lauded by President Vladimir Putin, launched a TV news channel in Britain on Thursday (October 30), promising to challenge "dominant power structures" and scrutinise the UK government.
RT UK will broadcast five hours of UK programming each day including live news, documentaries and chat-shows, with the rest of the schedule made up from content from RT's other channels.
The channel will produce British news stories from an alternative perspective, said RT UK's senior correspondent Laura Smith.
"We think there's a gap in the market. When you tune in to news programmes in Britain, Channel 4 news, the News at Ten, you basically see the same line-up. Certainly the same headlines, possibly even the same ten stories, sometimes even in the same order. We say that there is more to the UK than that. So we're going to be looking for different stories, reporting stories from a different perspective and hoping to appeal to another section of the audience."
Ofcom, Britain's broadcast regulator, is investigating a number of complaints against RT's international arm for purported bias in reporting the Ukraine crisis and for broadcasting graphic footage of an Islamic State militant committing murder.
But Smith said British viewers should make up their own minds.
"We urge viewers to tune in and watch and decide for yourselves whether it's unbiased. Our viewing figures in other parts of the world show that our audiences are very confident in the content we provide. Viewing figures in the US are constantly growing, we now have over two billion hits on Youtube. So we just want viewers to decide for themselves."
RT UK has a team of 50 journalists working from its studios in central London. The channel will be available to 90 percent of households via Freeview, a digital terrestrial TV service, RT said.
Putin last year described RT, formerly known as Russia Today, as a project to break what he called the Anglo-Saxon monopoly on "global information streams", saying it reflected his government's thinking on events in Russia and abroad.
The RT network, first launched in 2005, broadcasts in English, Spanish and Arabic and says it has global reach of more 700 million people in over 100 countries.
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