The bias of RT (Russia Today) is Lean Right.
Table of Contents
- Feb. 2022 Review: AllSides Rates RT Lean Right
- Third-Party Accusations of Bias
- About Russia Today
- Who Owns and Funds RT
Feb. 2022 Review: AllSides Rates RT Lean Right
AllSides rated RT Lean Right following an initial review by the AllSides team. One team member who has a Center bias argued RT deserved a Right rating.
The team noted RT had an anti-globalist bias and displayed a perspective on events that ran contrary to establishment Democrat or neoconservative beliefs that the US should expand liberal democracy abroad. RT published content spelling out concerns about Davos (ie The World Economic Forum) and its pushing of critical race theory, as well as pieces on the fact that many experts warned NATO expansion would lead Russia to invade Ukraine.
AllSides also noted that RT is owned and controlled by the Russian government and therefore, especially during the 2022 invasion of Ukraine, issued state-sponsored propaganda. We determined it useful for people to know what the Russian government perspective is, or what messages they are currently publicizing, so we opted not to censor this content in our balanced news (as some, such as the EU, have done and others are being pushed to do), but make it available to our readers so they can have a more complete picture and be better informed.
Some on the team had concerns that AllSides' left-to-right bias rating scale was not as applicable to this source as it is with others. RT may be less biased in terms of US political ideologies and perspectives, because they are biased by whatever they think is in the best interest or best reflects the views of the current Russian government. As such, the content may vary from left to right more than others depending on the circumstance.
Third-Party Accusations of Bias
Note: Third-party accusations of bias do not factor into AllSides Media Bias Ratings™. We provide this information as an FYI.
Many media organizations and commentators on the left, such as Southern Poverty Law Center, The Daily Beast, PolitiFact, Slate, and The Guardian, have accused RT of promoting conspiracy theories or hosting people who promote them. The Center for Countering Digital Hate argued RT is responsible for "climate change denial" content.
Meanwhile, a writer at the left outlet Marxism-Leninism Today defended RT, stating, "RT is the focus of attack precisely because it provides a means of information gathering outside the bounds of corporate media. RT viewers can access a wide variety of viewpoints, including those in opposition to United States and NATO foreign policy ... The anti-Russian trope has been executed with perfection. It has been spread by the corporate media and the two party duopoly. The same newspapers and cable news stations providing endless anti-Russian coverage never allow a counter narrative to see the light of day."
About Russia Today
According to its About page, "RT creates news with an edge for viewers who want to Question More. RT covers stories overlooked by the mainstream media, provides alternative perspectives on current affairs, and acquaints international audiences with a Russian viewpoint on major global events."
In an interview with RT, Russian President Vladimir reportedly told the network's editor-in-chief, "When we designed this project back in 2005, we intended introducing another strong player on the world’s scene, a player that wouldn’t just provide an unbiased coverage of the events in Russia but also ... try to break the Anglo-Saxon monopoly on the global information streams. And it seems to me that you’re succeeding in this job."
"I’d like to emphasize something of the key importance. We never expected this to be a news agency or a channel which would defend the position of the Russian political line. We wanted to bring an absolutely independent news channel to the news arena.
Certainly the channel is funded by the government, so it cannot help but reflect the Russian government’s official position on the events in our country and in the rest of the world one way or another. But I’d like to underline again that we never intended this channel, RT, as any kind of apologetics for the Russian political line, whether domestic or foreign."
Who Owns and Funds RT
Note: Funding and ownership is not taken into account when determining AllSides Media Bias Ratings™. While it's true ownership and financial interests can affect what goes to print, our bias ratings are determined by assessing the bias of content only. We provide financial and ownership information as an FYI to our readers.
RT is owned by RIA Novosti, a Russian stated-owned news agency.