Eesti Elu
RT. Sophisticated, seems believable. But is it propaganda or alternative news? Estonian Life
Rahvusvahelised uudised 03 Dec 2016 EL (Estonian Life)Eesti Elu
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Laas Leivat
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RT’s choices of news coverage often leaves the impression it’s offering information that Western TV networks deliberately downplay or avoid. ‘Fracking’ is a good example. Hydraulic fracturing is a system of oil extraction that is harmful to the environment and but boosts the efficiency and therefore the profits of international oil conglomerates. Specifically it is accompanied with risks of ground and surface water contamination, air and noise pollution, the triggering of earthquakes, and hazards to public health.
RT is known to cover protests against ’fracking’ anywhere, in spite of the fact that protests against ’fracking’ have not been considered as widespread uprisings by the Western press. But RT has devoted much time and attention to them as if they reflect a rebellious society everywhere. This is seen as a deliberate strategy, favouring the interests of Russia’s oil and gas monopoly, Gazprom, by discouraging profitable competition and attempting to maintain high oil and gas pricing. Observers state that in a general sense, the underlying message goes much further: RT may be conceeding that the Russian regime is no angel (within proscribed, tight editorial limits) and living in Russia’s has its hardships, but the West should not point its finger at Moscow, being just as bad if not worse and that the US is the worst of all.
Observers and RT’s former employers say that presenting the US as a corrupt, decaying empire meant shaping international news to fulfill the the Kremlin’s agenda. This was especially evident in RT’s concentrated coverage of the Wikileaks and Occupy Wall Street stories a few years ago.
Just recently, RT’s interview with Donald Trump conveys a sense of this strategy. The former CNN host, Larry King, a long time friend of Trump managed the “coup” for Russia. Although a Trump spokesman claimed that they did not know the interview would be broadcast on RT, others insist it’s general knowledge that King’s shows are aired on RT America. (Pikemalt Eesti Elu 2. detsembri paberlehest)
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