Russia Today defends crash coverage: ‘We have different definitions of truth’
Russia Today, the Kremlin-funded international news agency, pushed back against accusations from one its former correspondents that it is a propaganda outlet for the Putin administration, explaining ” We have different definitions of truth.”
Reacting to the highly publicized departure of Sara Firth, who resigned over the network’s coverage of the shooting down of MH17, Anna Belkina, RT’s head of communications, responded to Erik Wemple of the Washington Post with a statement:
“Sara has declared that she chooses the truth; apparently we have different definitions of truth. We believe that truth is what our reporters see on the ground, with their own eyes, and not what’s printed in the morning London newspaper, ” Balkina wrote. “In our coverage, RT, unlike the rest of the media, did not draw conclusions before the official investigation has even begun. We show all sides of the story, even if everyone else has already decided which side is to blame.”
Belkina was referring to Firth’s complaint that the network’s initial coverage included an interview with a witness — described by an RT anchor, as a “person who was near the scene” — who blamed the missile attack on Ukrainian forces without substantiation.
Responding to Belkina’s statement, Frith told Wemple, “Oh my gosh, it’s amazing — what is the right word for it even? That’s what’s so crazy about RT, this idea that they have about versions of the truth. They took an eyewitness account and blamed the Ukrainian government. It’s all about pointing fingers for them and manipulating the truth.”
Appearing on CNN, Frith told Christiane Amanpour, “There is Russian bias. There is misreporting, and I’ve been inside that so I’ve felt that, I’ve felt what that’s like. But at the same time, I don’t think that you counter that by doing the same thing and worse, and that’s what we were doing.”
Watch the interview with Sara Firth below from CNN: