RT (TV network)

RT (TV network)
Launched December 10, 2005
Owned by ANO TV-Novosti
Picture format 4:3 (576i, SDTV)
Slogan Question more
Country Russia
Language Arabic, English, Russian, Spanish
Broadcast area Worldwide, via Cable, Satellite and Internet
Headquarters Moscow, Russia
Formerly called Russia Today
Sister channel(s) Rusiya Al-Yaum, Russia 24, RTD
Website RT.com
Freeview (UK) Channel 85
MHz Networks (Washington) Channel 30.4
Bell TV (Canada) Channel 724
Airtel digital tv (India) Channel 311
Indovision (Indonesia) Channel 355
yes (Israel)
SKY Italia (Italy) Channel 531
GlobeCast World TV (North America) FTA Channel 462
Cyfra+ (Poland) Channel 146
NTV Plus (Russia)
Freesat INDIA BIG TV= Channel no:461 (UK) Channel 206
Sky (UK) Channel 512
Sky (New Zealand) Channel 096
Available on many cable systems Check local listings for channels
Telus TV (Optik TV) (Canada) Channel 573
Hypp.TV (Malaysia) Channel 2008
mio TV (Singapore) Channel 45
TPG Telecom (Australia) Channel unallocated
Internet television
Live Webcast Watch (Free, available in English)
Livestation Watch (Free, 502 Kbit/s, available in English)

RT, previously known as Russia Today, is a global multilingual television news network based in the Russian Federation run by RIA Novosti.

RT shows round the clock news bulletins, documentaries, talk shows, and debates, as well as sports news and cultural programs on Russia. The service is aimed at the overseas market, similar to other international news channels, and broadcast through satellite and cable operators throughout the world. In addition to the flagship English-language broadcast, it also runs Arabic and Spanish language channels, and RT America, which is oriented to viewers in the United States. It broadcasts from its headquarters in Moscow and its studio in Washington, DC, and also has bureaus in Miami, Los Angeles, London, Paris, Delhi and Tel Aviv.

RT is the second most-watched foreign news channel in the United States, after BBC News.[1] By March 2010, its videos had garnered more than 83 million views on YouTube[2] and has also set a TV News Channel record after exceeding a view count on YouTube of half a billion.[3] It has 2,000 employees worldwide.[4]



RT started broadcasting on December 10, 2005 with nearly 100 English-speaking journalists reporting for it worldwide.[5][6] It was the first all-digital Russian TV network,[7] and cost about $30 million in 2005 to set up and $60 million for its first year of operation,[5] Margarita Simonyan, RT's editor-in-chief, says the station was born out of the desire to present an "unbiased portrait of Russia."[7]

The network was launched by the autonomous non-profit organization ANO TV-Novosti in 2005, but much of the funding to this organization is injected from the Russian Federal Budget (2.4 billion rubles in 2007).[8][9] This is equivalent to 82.56 million August 8, 2011 U.S. dollars.

In August 2007, RT had television's first ever live report from the North Pole, which lasted 5 minutes, 41 seconds. An RT crew participated in the Arktika 2007 Russian polar expedition, led by Artur Chilingarov on the Akademik Fyodorov icebreaker.[10]


RT consists of its main RT International English language channel, RT America, RT Arabic, Actualidad RT in Spanish, and RT Documentary.

Channel Description Language Launched in Website
RT International The flagship news channel of the RT network, and covers international and regional headlines from a Russian perspective. Based in Moscow with bureaus in New York, Washington, London, Miami, Los Angeles, Paris, Tskhinval, Delhi and Tel Aviv.[11] English 2005 rt.com
RT America It focuses on covering the Americas from an international and Russian perspective. Currently only broadcasts in the afternoon and evening. Based in RT's Washington, DC Bureau, RT America also has studios in New York, Miami and Los Angeles.[12] English 2010 rt.com/on-air/rt-america-air
Rusiya Al-Yaum Based in Moscow and broadcast 24/7. Programs include political, economic, cultural, sports stories along with movies, documentaries and feature broadcasts.[13] Arabic May 2007 arabic.rt.com
RT en Español Based in Moscow but relies heavily on its studios in Miami, Los Angeles and Buenos Aires. Covers headline news, politics, sports, and broadcast specials.[14] Spanish 2009 actualidad.rt.com
RT Documentary 24-hour documentary channel. The bulk of its programming is RT-produced documentaries related to Russia.[15] English June 2011 rtd.rt.com/on-air/


Satellite and cable broadcasts

RT is transmitted on thirteen satellites, covering Europe, Asia, the Americas, southern Africa and Australia.[16] Of these, eleven transmit the channel free to air, enabling it to be received without a subscription.[17]

Viewers in Russia can receive the channel as a part of the NTV Plus basic package as well as Kosmos TV.

In the UK and Ireland, the channel is available on the Sky platform's channel 512, including in the Freesat from Sky package. It is also available in the UK 24 hours per day on Digital Terrestrial platform Freeview channel 85 and also on Freesat channel 206.

In Italy, the channel is available via SKY Italia on channel 531.

In New Zealand, the channel is available via Sky Network Television on channel 96.

In the United States, the channel is available to digital customers of Time-Warner Cable in New York and New Jersey on channel 135 (channel 196 in upstate New York), in Los Angeles and the desert cities on channel 236, and in San Diego and North County on channel 222. Digital customers of Comcast can receive the channel in Chicago on channel 103, and in Washington, D.C. on channel 274. Digital subscribers to Buckeye CableSystem can receive the channel in Northwest Ohio and Southeast Michigan on channel 266. The channel is also available in the Washington, D.C. area via Cox (channel 474), RCN (channel 33), and Verizon FIOS (channel 455). Portions of RT are additionally shown throughout the United States on MHz Worldview. Since MHZ Worldview is shown as a digital subchannel for some PBS stations (in addition to being available on DirecTV), this makes RT available on digital terrestrial television in the United States. MHz Networks, which owns MHZ Worldview, does a complete simulcast of RT on one of the digital subchannels of WNVC, one of the two stations it owns in Northern Virginia. Over the air, it is shown on WYBE 35.3 in Philadelphia.

In January 2010, RT became available in major cities in Western Canada through Shaw Cable. It also began appearing a couple months earlier in major cities throughout Eastern Canada from Rogers Cable.


A live stream of the channel offering a choice of three resolutions for differing capacity connections is available via the RT website. The stream is also available in English and Arabic through Livestation which can also be viewed on televisions using the Roku player. Video clips of some of the programming is available on the website. A lesser amount is also available on YouTube.

Controversies and criticisms

The Moscow Times observes that, "various media figures and NGOs have criticized RT for its support of the Russian government, Soviet nostalgia, advancing conspiracy theories, offering a platform to commentators from the extreme-left and radical Islamism". [18]

Allegations of pro-Russia bias

According to a variety of sources such as Der Spiegel and Reporters Without Borders, the channel presents pro-Kremlin propaganda.[19][20] Russia Today staff have nonetheless claimed that their coverage was fair and balanced.[21] A 2005 VOA report interviewed Anton Nosik, chief editor of a major English-language computer internet site in Russia, in which he described the creation of Russia Today as an idea smacking of Soviet-style propaganda campaigns, and also noted that the channel was not created as a response to any existing demand.[22] While another article in the Digital Journal called RT a "pro-Putin news outlet"[23] and its advertising campaign as "open propaganda war."[23]

A 2009 article by journalist Luke Harding for The Guardian reporting on RT's advertising campaign described the network as "unashamedly pro-Vladimir Putin"[24] and part of the Kremlin's attempt to create a "post-Soviet global propaganda empire."[24] The article also interviewed RT's editor-in-chief Margarita Simonyan where she said the network "takes a pro-Russian position"[24] and was unrepentant about RT's pro-Russian coverage of the 2008 Russian-Georgian war.[24]

An article published in The New Republic by James Kirchick characterized the news reportage of Russia Today as, "virulent anti-Americanism, worshipful portrayal of Russian leaders, and comical production values," that "can't help but revive the pettiness that was a distinctive feature of Soviet-era propaganda."[25]

An article by Accuracy in Media criticized RT as a "propaganda network funded by the Moscow regime of Vladimir Putin"[26] and charged that it "regularly features Marxist and radical commentators.[26] The article also cites the description of the network by former KGB officer Konstantin Preobrazhensky as “a part of the Russian industry of misinformation and manipulation” designed to mislead foreign audiences about Russian intentions."[26] Furthermore, Preobrazhensky argues that Russia Today utilizes methods of propaganda that are "managed by Directorate 'A' of the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service...with the specialty of Directorate ‘A’ is deceiving world public opinion and manipulating it. It has got a lot of experience over decades of the Cold War."[26]

An editor for the Kyiv Post has noted criticism towards RT and its perceived anti-Western and anti-Ukrainian propaganda.[27]

In response, according to RT's editor, the channel welcomes controversy as it "provides an alternative to mainstream media."[28]

Allegations of supporting conspiracy theories

The Economist magazine which classified RT's reporting as "weirdly constructed propaganda" has suggested that the channel has provided a platform to conspiracy theorists.[29] Julia Ioffe claims that Russia Today is a Kremlin propaganda outlet featuring "fringe-dwelling experts" and "was just a way to stick it to the U.S. from behind the façade of legitimate newsgathering."[30]

Ben Smith criticized an interview between Alex Jones and Russia Today discussing Osama bin Laden death conspiracy theories and called Russia Today a "raw propaganda channel."[31]

Criticisms of coverage of specific news incidents

During the 2008 South Ossetia War Russia Today correspondent William Dunbar resigned saying "[t]he real news, the real facts of the matter, didn't conform to what they were trying to report, and therefore, they wouldn't let me report it."[32] Human Rights Watch said that the claim of 2000 South Ossetian casualties, announced by Russia Today,[33] was "exaggerated."[34] The Moscow correspondent for the Independent said that Russia Today's coverage of the war was "obscene", claiming that the channel was "extraordinarily biased" and had "instructed reporters not to report from Georgian villages within South Ossetia that had been ethnically cleansed."[35]


In 2007, RT's share of monthly audience among NTV Plus viewers in Moscow exceeded those of CNN and Bloomberg.[36]

In December 2007, RT programs were displayed in New York on America's main information video walls, NASDAQ and Reuters. On New Year's Eve, RT's New Year's program from Moscow and St. Petersburg was displayed live on the NASDAQ and Reuters screens for the thousands of people celebrating in Times Square.[36]

In June 2007, RT was one of the first Russian TV channels to have its own channel on YouTube, the leading video hosting site on the Internet. In January 2008, the total number of views for RT videos on YouTube was over 3 million, and RT was sixth in YouTube's Most Viewed Partners rating, behind CBS, BBC World, Al Jazeera English, France 24 and Press TV.[36]

In 2008, RT’s average monthly reach in Russia indicated a growth rate of 82% within just six months. Over the same period, the channel’s average daily reach grew by 46%. In the same year, the monthly audience among those who have access to or are aware of RT’s broadcasts on Time Warner Cable in NYC exceeded that of BBC America by 11%. The daily audience of RT exceeds that of Deutsche Welle tenfold, within the same network.[37]

Professional awards

  • January 2009 – Silver World Medal for Best News Documentary “A city of desolate mothers” from the New York Festivals
  • November 2008 – Special Jury Award in the Best Creative Feature category for a Russian Glamour feature story at Media Excellence Awards in London
  • September 2008 – Russia's most prestigious broadcasting award TEFI in Best News Anchor category
  • November 2007 – RT's report on the anniversary of the Chernobyl catastrophe received a special prize from the international 2007 AIB Media Excellence Awards[38] in the News Coverage category. Other nominees included major international broadcasters such as BBC, France 24, Deutsche Welle, CBS, Al Arabiya, and others. There was only one story by CBS News which rated higher than RT and it received the Grand Prix
  • September 2007 – Eurasian Academy of Television and Radio[39] awarded RT with the Prize for Professional Skillfulness
  • June 2007 – The 11th "Save and Preserve" International Environmental Television Festival[40] awarded its Grand Prix to RT's Meeting with Nature series. There were 284 entries competing in 10 categories, including a work by German TV channel Deutsche Welle
  • September 2006 – The 10th "Golden Tambourine" International Festival for Television programs and films[41] awarded RT's documentary People of the Bering Strait in the Ethnography and Travel category


News anchors

  • Yulia Bokova
  • Bill Dod
  • Marina Dzhashi
  • Anya Fedorova (Primetime Russia)
  • Neil Harvey (Primetime Russia)
  • Alice Hibbert
  • Cary Jonston
  • Anissa Naouai[2]
  • Kevin Owen
  • Anissa Naouai
  • Yulia Shapovalova
  • Tesa Arcilla
  • Rory Suchet
  • Sean Thomas
  • Matt Trezza


  • Oksana Boyko
  • Kaelyn Forde
  • Gayane Chichakyan
  • Sara Firth
  • Katerina Azarova
  • Natalia Novikova
  • Irina Galushko
  • Anastasia Churkina (US)
  • Lindsay France
  • Tom Barton
  • Pete Oliver
  • Dina Gusovsky (US)
  • Laura Smith (London)
  • Ivor Bennett (London)
  • Ekaterina Gracheva
  • Egor Piskunov
  • Jacob Greaves
  • Igor Ogorodnev
  • Cedric Moon (US)
  • Marina Portnaya (US)
  • Paula Slier (Israel)
  • Priya Sridhar (US)
  • Jihan Hafiz (US)

Business Today presenters

  • Daniel Jones
  • Karina Melikyan
  • Natalia Shanetskaya
  • Madina Kochenova

Sport presenters

  • Andrew Farmer
  • Eunan O'Neill
  • Kate Partridge
  • Richard Van Poortvliet
  • Natalya Soboleva
  • Robert Vardanyan

Program presenters

  • Peter Lavelle (In Context, Cross Talk)
  • Martyn Andrews (Wayfarer/Moscow Out/Venice of the North/A Prime Recipe)
  • Thom Hartmann (The Big Picture)
  • Al Gurnov (Spotlight)
  • Max Keiser (Keiser Report)
  • Nick Levy (Tech Update)
  • Alyona Minkovski (The Alyona Show)
  • James Brown (Discovering Russia)
  • Sophie Shevardnadze (News/Culture Fair/Wanted/An Interview with...)

Past presenters (all)

Past Reporters

See also


  1. ^ Foreign News Channels Drawing U.S. Viewers - IPS ipsnews.net
  2. ^ Russia Today courts viewers with controversy — Russia Beyond The Headlines
  3. ^ [1]
  4. ^ The Conspiracy Channel — Utne Reader
  5. ^ a b "Journalism mixes with spin on Russia Today: critics". CBC News. 10 March 2006. http://www.cbc.ca/arts/story/2006/03/10/russia-today-critics.html. Retrieved 4 January 2009. 
  6. ^ "Russia Today tomorrow". Broadband TV News. 15 September 2005. http://www.broadbandtvnews.com/archive_cen/160905.html. Retrieved 26 July 2007. [dead link]
  7. ^ a b "Russia Today to be 24-hour, English TV station". CBC News. 7 June 2005. http://www.cbc.ca/arts/story/2005/06/07/russiantv050607.html. Retrieved 6 May 2008. 
  8. ^ «Свобода слова» обходится все дороже Независимая, 5 September 2006
  9. ^ James Painter, The boom in counter-hegemonic news channels: a case study of Telesur, (undated), Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism at Oxford University.
  10. ^ ШОСовая борьба «Интегрум», 30 October 2008
  11. ^ Corporate Profile RT
  12. ^ USA RT
  13. ^ About (Arabic) RT
  14. ^ Actualidad QUIÉNES SOMOS (Spanish) RT
  15. ^ RTД – your guide to the depths of Russia — RT
  16. ^ "Russia Today:Satellite". 17 September 2008. http://www.russiatoday.ru/satellite. 
  17. ^ "Free TV from Russia". 17 September 2008. http://www.lyngsat.com/freetv/Russia.html. 
  18. ^ RT Editor's response to the allegation of promoting controversies was that they provide "an alternative to mainstream media".
  19. ^ Controversial Propaganda: Using Stalin To Boost Russia Abroad Der Spiegel 20 November 2007
  20. ^ Reporters Without Borders Don’t Fancy Russia Today Kommersant 21 October 2005
  21. ^ Russian News, English Accent: New Kremlin Show Spins Russia Westward CBS News 12 December 2005
  22. ^ "New Global TV Venture to Promote Russia". VOANews. 06-07-05. http://www.voanews.com/english/news/a-13-2005-07-06-voa33-66930727.html?CFTOKEN=42597376&CFID=285357866. 
  23. ^ a b Camphausen, R.C.. "Russia Today in propaganda war of words and images Read more: http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/286048#ixzz1JdjGscfI". R.C.Camphausen. Digital Journal. http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/286048. 
  24. ^ a b c d Luke Harding (18-12-09). "Russia Today launches first UK ad blitz". The Guardian. http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/dec/18/russia-today-propaganda-ad-blitz. 
  25. ^ Kirchick, James (02-18-09). "Pravda on the Potomac". The New Republic. http://www.tnr.com/article/pravda-the-potomac. 
  26. ^ a b c d "KGB TV to Air Show Hosted by Anti-war Marine Vet". Accuracy in Media. 05-04-11. http://www.aim.org/aim-column/kgb-tv-to-air-show-hosted-by-anti-war-marine-vet/. 
  27. ^ http://www.kyivpost.com/news/ukraine/detail/114840/
  28. ^ Russia Today Courts Viewers With Controversy The Moscow Times 17 March 2010
  29. ^ Airwaves wobbly The Economist: Eastern Approaches 6 July 2010
  30. ^ Ioffe, Julia (September/October 2010). Columbia Journalism Review. http://www.cjr.org/feature/what_is_russia_today.php. 
  31. ^ Smith, Ben (03-05-11). "Alex Jones on Russia Today". Politico. http://www.politico.com/blogs/bensmith/0511/Alex_Jones_on_Russia_Today.html. 
  32. ^ Russian TV reporter resigns after station cancels his Georgian broadcasts The Guardian, citing the Moscow Times 12 August 2008
  33. ^ Death toll in South Ossetia reaches 2,000 Russia Today 10 August 2008
  34. ^ Russia exaggerating South Ossetian death toll, says human rights group The Guardian 13 August 2008
  35. ^ From Russia with news The Independent 15 January 2010.
  36. ^ a b c News & Events RT
  37. ^ "RT Corporate Profile". RT. 1 January 2009. http://rt.com/About_Us/Corporate_Profile.html. Retrieved 12 June 2010. 
  38. ^ AIB Media Excellence Awards 2007 Association for International Broadcasting, 8 October 2007
  39. ^ Eurasian Academy of Television and Radio Евразийская Академия Телевидения и Радио
  40. ^ News of the Okrug 11th "Save and Preserve" International Environmental Television Festival, 9 June 2007
  41. ^ "Golden Tambourine" International Festival for Television programmes and films Zolotoy Buben
  42. ^ "The Team Carson Scott". Sky News Business Channel. http://www.businesschannel.com.au/team/biog.aspx?page=45. Retrieved 24 June 2009. [dead link]
  43. ^ James Freemantle

External links

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