Latvian media watchdog fines Russian TV channel for biased reporting on Ukraine
Latvia’s National Council on Electronic Media has fined First Baltic Channel for providing coverage lacking in objectivity about Ukraine. The channel has been ordered to pay the maximum fine possible (3, 600 EUR) on the grounds that the offences were repeated on a number of occasions.
The offending material was all about events in Ukraine and concerned Vremya news broadcasts on Feb 25 and 26, as well as March 1, 2 and 4.
The Council notes that the news features presented the point of view only of people who regard EuroMaidan as illegal; tried to justify the Russian invasion (of the Crimea on Feb 27) and called the new leadership of Ukraine criminals.
The Council cited the view of the Security Policy that broadcasting material from the so-called pro-Kremlin media encourages the entrenchment of prejudices and political myths among Latvians. “Such news reports can form the view that neo-Nazis and fascists have unlawful seized power in Ukraine and that the intervention of the Russian Federation army is a desirable step”.
According to a TSN.ua report, around 70% of the material on First Baltic Channel is taken directly from Russia’s Kremlin-backed First Channel.
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