Alan Rusbridger's book 'News and how to use it' is intended as a guide of 'what to believe in a fake news world'. Which makes the former Guardian editor's appearance on Russia Today (RT) somewhat curious.
RT is the Kremlin's state-controlled TV network. It has a history of downplaying stories that paint Russia in a bad light. It also has a habit of reporting with relish stories that make western countries look bad. In 2019, RT was fined £200,000 by Ofcom after an investigation found that the channel had failed to preserve due impartiality in seven news and current affairs programmes. According to David Remnick, editor of the New Yorker: ‘RT is darkly, nastily brilliant, so much more sophisticated than Soviet propaganda.’
Is this really the place then for Rusbridger, who now heads up an Oxford college, to talk about the age of ‘information chaos’ and the increased scepticism of mainstream media? After a backlash to his appearance on the channel's 'Going Underground' show, Rusbridger defended himself by saying:
'I see no harm in taking the argument to the other side.'
Mr S wonders whether next time Rusbridger wants to discuss fake news, he should avoid taking to the airwaves on RT...