Another major alternative English media source

An always welcome development is the rise of alternative major English news sources to counterbalance those that report from the perspective of the US and Western European governments. Al Jazeera (funded by the Qatar government) is one such voice and now RT (which receives funding from the Russian government) is another rising force.

Julian Assange of WikiLeaks has a new talk show called The World Tomorrow on RT that debuted recently in which the first interview was with the reclusive Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah who has not given a television interview since 2006. The western English media treated his show and RT with snide condescension, the way they did with Al Jazeera before they came to terms with the fact that it was a force to be reckoned with. Glenn Greenwald says that this reaction reveals more about the western media than it does about RT and Assange.

The real cause of American media hostility toward RT is the same as what causes it to hate Assange: the reporting it does reflects poorly on the U.S. Government, the ultimate sin in the eyes of our “adversarial” press corps. A bitter little rant about RT and Assange today in The Guardian from Luke Harding — one which Adomanis demolishes here — unveils the real reason for the hostility toward that network. On RT, Harding frets, “The west, and America in particular, is depicted as crime-ridden, failing, and in thrall to big business and evil elites.” Oh, perish the thought.

As Adomanis recalled: “Josh Kucera, a journalist who has covered Russia and the former Soviet space, tweeted: ‘RT covers the US like US media covers Russia — emphasizing decline, interviewing marginal dissidents’.” In sum, RT occupies a similar media space in the U.S. as Democracy Now and Al Jazeera: it covers stories and amplifies opinions which are too critical of the U.S. to be heard in establishment media venues (several stories I’ve written exposing the bad acts, civil liberties assaults or imperial violence of the Obama administration have been covered there but not by, say, MSNBC).

The more alternative news sources we have, the better off we all will be.


  1. Elipson says

    I quite agree, but it’s not just different sources. I appreciate the much more serious and world based tone which channels such as Al Jazeera employ, at least when compared with many western media outlets.

  2. snafu says

    This applies only to their english language broadcast news channel. RT has been available free here in the UK for a while now. As a source of information, it strikes me as more comparable to Fox than Al-Jazeera since, like the former, it barely qualifies as a news channel. Al-Jazeera has a degree of journalistic integrity that is simply not present at RT.

    I agree absolutely, alternate perspectives are incredibly important and the western media has certainly closed ranks. But having observed the channel myself for months now, it’s hard to avoid the conclusion that RT is, at best, noise.

  3. IB says

    Have to agree with snafu. Whilst I like the way it almost holds a mirror to how Russia is represented in some English language media, the channel as a whole is more theatre than journalism.
    They are pretty good on live Soyuz launch coverage though, and I’ve a weakness for that sort of thing.

  4. Amir says

    Obviously it is noise cause that noise challenges every single belief or the way you are used (or must I say “doped”) seeing world and its affairs in a certain prejudiced way. Come on! you could have done a better job by posting a better and more sane argument than terming a whole news media outlet (i.e. RT) as a mere “NOISE” 🙂

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