RT and Sputnik denied press passes for inaugural UK global media freedom conference
Russian state-funded news outlets RT and Sputnik have been denied press passes for the inaugural global media freedom conference to be held in London this week.
The Foreign Office, which is organising the event alongside the Canadian Government, said they had not been granted media accreditation “because of their active role in spreading disinformation”.
Broadcaster RT and news agency Sputnik are both funded by the Kremlin and aimed at audiences outside Russia.
The Foreign Office’s international media freedom conference will be held in London on Wednesday and Thursday and will be attended by government ministers and officials, the diplomatic community, international agencies, journalists and academics.
It is aiming to examine media freedom, how to make the world a safer place for journalists and “will see countries and international organisations coming together to take meaningful action to defend media freedom”, the Foreign Office has said.
An RT spokesperson said: “It takes a particular brand of hypocrisy to advocate for freedom of press while banning inconvenient voices and slandering alternative media.
“Sadly, the world has learned to expect just that from the UK Foreign Office.”
At the end of 2018 UK broadcast regulator Ofcom found RT (formerly Russia Today) had “failed to preserve due impartiality” in seven news and current affairs programmes over a six-week period last year between 17 March and 26 April.