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The Russian propaganda channel RT in the sights of Ottawa | War in Ukraine

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This channel, which is broadcast in several countries, is accused by many of spreading disinformation and of serving as the spokesperson for the Kremlin on the invasion in Ukraine.

Canadian Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez tweeted that he shared the concerns of many Canadians about the presence of Russia Today in our broadcasting system and that all options were explored.

The interim leader of the Conservative Party of Canada (CPC), Candice Bergen, had made the request earlier in the day on Twitter on Saturday. The withdrawal of the RT channel’s license was part of a series of additional sanctions requested by the Conservative Party of Canada.

Cabinet must immediately ask CRTC to classify Russian TV channel RT as a state propaganda channel and revoke its right to broadcastdeclared the former premier of Quebec, Jean Charest, in an open letter published by the Coops de l’information.

The television channel RT, formerly Russia Today, has had a broadcast license in Canada since 2009.

A false problem, according to Patrick White

According to Patrick White, journalism professor at UQAM’s School of Media, this television channel has little impact in the country, since it has very few subscribers, he said in an interview with RDI. It is especially on the Internet that she has influence, he says.

I think RT on TV gets little to no viewership in Canada, so that seems like a non-issue. What is at stake is the extremely massive disinformation produced by RT all over the world to destabilize elections, for example. Last fall in Germany, the medium that had the most reach and impact throughout the campaign was RT and that is absolutely abnormal. »

A quote from Patrick White, journalism professor at UQAM’s School of Media

Reaction from EU and web giants

Russian state media RT and Sputnik will be banned from European territory to prevent them from broadcasting their lies on Moscow’s war in Ukraine, said European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.

We will ban in theEuropean Union the Kremlin’s media machine. State media Russia Today and Sputnik, and their affiliates, will no longer be able to broadcast their lies to justify Putin’s war and to sow division in our Union. We are therefore developing tools to ban their toxic and harmful misinformation in Europe »

A quote from Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission

The European Alliance of News Agencies (EANA) has announced the immediate suspension of the Russian agency TASS in response to the new regulations applied by the Russian government which severely restrict the freedom of the media. The complete exclusion of the Russian agency will be studied soon at a general meeting.

Facebook’s parent company announced on Saturday that it had blocked Russian state media from making money on its platform.

Later in the day, YouTube and its parent company Google also suspended monetization of the RT channel, where several reports are broadcast.

The founder of the Telegram messaging app, Pavel Durov, did an about-face on Sunday saying his company was no longer considering limiting access to certain channels if the situation in Ukraine escalated, as he claimed earlier in the day. He asked users to be vigilant about what they read on the app, since his channels were increasingly the source of unverified information.

At least five journalists or RT correspondents have resigned in recent days in reaction to Vladimir Putin’s decision to invade Ukraine.

With information from Marie Isabelle Rochon, Agence France-Presse and Reuters

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