Today a new news service is available in the United Kingdom. The Russian state sponsored news channel “Russia Today” has started broadcasting, amid grumbles by organisations such as the BBC as to whether Russia Today could present a fair and unbiased news service, as opposed to a propaganda service.
In the dark days when communism ruled over Eastern Europe propaganda was the norm in news services such as “Pravda” and Izvestia”. Such propaganda was countered by Western propaganda, albeit less biased, more truthful and more reliable, but nevertheless propaganda. In the past 24 years Russian propaganda has moved more to the western model of news reporting. It is still state sponsored and financed, but then again so is the BBC, and with all news services you must pick and choose which programmes to believe. However the importance of Russia Today is that it presents us in Western Europe and in the USA with another point of view.
I have seen the Russia Today television broadcasts in Germany. Frankly, I found them more interesting (for diverse reasons) than those of BBC World.
Not everything our native news channels is truthful or accurate, and so it is with Russia Today. However, where Russia Today is very useful and accurate is in its reporting of events in the United Kingdom and in the United States of America. Stories, particularly of undemocratic behaviour and state oppression are more readily reported in Russia Today than they are on the BBC or on CBS, and reported in more detail with attributions.
As far as all national news broadcasts are concerned they seem to follow the dicta of Candide’s teacher – that everything is for the best in this best of all possible worlds; seeing what a state sponsored news broadcast says about another state provides balance and sometimes also provides the truth.