In 2014, Malaysian Airlines passenger flight 17 was shot down with a rocket intended for the private plane of Russian president Vladimir Putin... If, that is, a viewer is relying on the satellite TV network Russia Today as their source for news.
These claims were not the first time Russia Today drew attention for counter-factual reporting: during the 2008 war in Georgia, the network reported that South Ossetians were the victims of genocide at the hands of Georgians. In 2014, the channel was warned by the British TV agency for its biased and inaccurate reporting on the uprising on Maidan Square in Kiev. The list goes on and on.
Russia Today (now renamed just RT) was launched in 2005 to bring a Russian-centric perspective on current political events to a global audience. After a decade of generous Kremlin funding, 2015 found the 24-hour news channel the biggest media organization on YouTube with 2 billion viewers: more than CNN and the BBC combined.
The network claims only to offer an alternative perspective to the monolithic view presented by mainstream Western media. But what kind of "reporting" is Russia Today actually doing? What is it like to work for the channel? How much influence does the Kremlin really have there? Is it possible to differentiate between fact and opinion on a Russian channel when the Russian interests are at stake?
In Misja Pekel's disturbing documentary THE WORLD ACCORDING TO RUSSIA TODAY, former and current news anchors, editors and correspondents for the network—including William Dunbar, Sara Firth, Marc de Jersey, Afshin Rattansi and Liz Wahl—join journalists and media professionals Alexander Nekrassov, Peter Pomerantsev, Richard Sambrook, Daniel Sandford, Derk Sauer and more in a detailed dissection of the channel's modus operandi and the challenges and dangers of reporting and consuming news in a globalized world.
Frontline Club London