Falling out of mainstream? German channel probed for broadcasting RT show

RT Deutsch screenshot
Salve.TV in Germany is being inspected by a local media watchdog after the channel broadcast an RT Deutsch show. The check was initiated by German lawmakers who complained the show was biased towards Russia.

The channel is being looked into by the media watchdog in the federal state of Thuringia (TLM), regional MDR Thüringen media service reported. The German broadcaster showed RT Deutsch’s 'The Missing Part' ('Der Fehlende Part') news talk-show.

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The channel attracted the watchdog's attention after several lawmakers complained that the program was one-sided and "biased towards Russia's position," and didn’t allow viewers to get an "objective" impression. Blaming RT Deutsch for a lack of "critical journalistic delivery," deputies from the local left and green parties said "the Russian channel was too close to the government," as quoted by MDR Thüringen.

Salve.TV co-owner Klaus Dieter Böhm said German viewers could decide for themselves whether or not to watch the RT Deutsch program. He noted that viewers were also dissatisfied with the current situation, saying a variety of opinions should be present on the regional German television.

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One of the viewers commented on Salve.TV’s website that RT's coverage helped "realize again what I lack in the public media and big private broadcasters," and urged the German channel to "keep it up."

"It is very good if I can see both sides: the NATO and their organs of speech, and the other side. That's the only way I am able to make my own opinion. The fact that German media is worried about the circumstance that not only their side is now represented provides food for thought," another viewer commented on salve-tv.net.

RT's editor-in chief Margarita Simonyan said it was the regional German channel's initiative to broadcast RT content. "And now deputies from the parliament and German media stand against their own TV channel, practically calling on it to be censored," RT’s head said, adding that the local broadcaster in "democratic Germany" is under fire for showing something that is not in line with the mainstream.

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RT Deutsch was launched last year and 'The Missing Part' show has been broadcast on rtdeutsch.com since November. The daily program features interviews with experts discussing news of the day and talking about problems avoided by the local mainstream media.

The majority of citizens of several European countries, including Germany, would like to have access to alternative points of view on news events, and particularly to the Russian media angle, a joint survey by Sputnik agency and British ICM Research company conducted this year showed. According to the poll, 57 percent of respondents in Germany do not trust their domestic mainstream media, particularly in its coverage of Ukrainian crisis.