UK Premiere: The World According to Russia Today + Q&A
This screening will be followed by a panel discussion with director Misja Pekel, writers Ben Judah and Peter Pomerantsev, and journalist Richard Gizbert.
The rocket that shot down flight MH17 was actually intended for Vladimir Putin’s plane. That is, if we were to believe the headline Russia Today (RT) was running in the first hours after the tragedy. The disaster with the Malaysian Airlines flight wasn’t the first time the news channel stirred controversy with its reporting. In November of 2014, Ofcom gave RT a warning for impartial reporting on the uprising in Maidan Square in Kiev.
The channel was launched in 2005 under the name Russia Today to bring the Russian perspective on world events to a global audience. Almost ten years later, RT broadcasts in five languages and can be received almost all over the world. It is now the biggest news organisation on YouTube with 2 billion views, more then CNN and BBC together.
Its critics call it a bullhorn for Russian propaganda, RT claims only to show a different perspective on world events, and presents itself as an alternative to the mainstream media. In Misja Pekel’s The World According to Russia Today, current and former employees, journalists and media analysts dissect RT’s modus operandi. What is it like to work for the channel? How much influence does the Kremlin really have? And is it possible to discern between fact and opinion when Russian interests are at stake?
Directed by Misja Pekel
Ben Judah is the author of Fragile Empire: How Russia Fell In And Out Of Love With Vladimir Putin published by Yale University Press.
Peter Pomerantsev is an author, TV producer, and Senior Fellow at the Legatum Institute. Nothing is True and Everything is Possible, his book about working in Russian media, was released by Faber in February. It has been short listed for the Pushkin House Award for Russia books, and was a BBC Book of the Week.
Richard Gizbert is a Canadian broadcast journalist. He is the presenter of the Listening Post on Al Jazeera English. Over the past 25 years, he has covered stories in more than 50 countries on five continents.