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29 Oct, 2014 15:37

RT launches dedicated UK news channel – RT UK

RT launches dedicated UK news channel – RT UK

Global news network RT has launched a dedicated British news channel. The new station, RT UK, is to challenge dominant power structures in Britain by broadcasting live and original programming with a progressive UK focus.

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RT UK will be available to more than 90 percent of UK households via Freeview (Channel 135), Sky (Channel 512) and Free Sat (Channel 206), Monday to Friday, 6pm to 11pm.

Airing from its new London studios at Millbank, the channel will cover local, regional and national UK stories, focusing on issues that matter most to Britons. It will also cover a diverse spectrum of international news, examining the implications of major global developments for a British and international audience.

RT’s Editor in Chief, Margarita Simonyan, emphasizes the global news network strives to “bring new perspectives” to viewers, many of whom have grown weary of a bland broadcast culture dominated by mainstream analysis and corporate interests.

“Now, with a dedicated UK channel, we can serve the needs and interests of the British public by promoting debate and new ways of thinking about specifically British issues,” Simonyan said.

RT UK will feature an extensive array of broadcasting talent, including award-winning news anchor Bill Dod, globally renowned financial commentator Max Keiser, investigative journalist and presenter Afshin Rattansi, and RT correspondent Polly Boiko.

Afshin Rattansi, Bill Dod (Photo by RT)

Rolling 24/7, the channel will initially broadcast five hours of UK content a day, featuring live news, documentaries and current affairs programming. Content supplied from other RT channels, including the flagship RT International, will also be aired on the station.

RT UK’s news anchor Bill Dod keenly anticipates the channel’s launch, and values the opportunity to have been involved in the broadening of Britain’s media horizon.

“Our offices have a spectacular panoramic view of the capital and, looking out of the windows, I feel a surge of adrenalin when I think that we will be soon broadcasting to the entire nation from the heart of this great city,” he said.

“I have really enjoyed every minute, working with the editorial and production team in all aspects of the project from an early stage. This young, enthusiastic and talented team has done all it can to make it a success.”

Polly Boiko (Photo by RT)

Afshin Rattansi says RT UK will provide a welcomed media presence in Britain, covering issues that have formerly remained beyond the media spotlight of the nation.

"Media in Britain just isn’t covering the savage austerity policies advocated by the main political parties as we approach the general election. And we are now at war again in Iraq and flying armed drones over Syria without a vote," he said.

"We’ll aim to bring some truly informed debate on a tired UK television news scene dominated by corporate and vested interests. Slicing through the rampant corruption that stalks through public and private sector alike, RT UK will do what statutory regulators are supposed to do - hold power to account."

Rattansi emphasizes RT UK will be "the only major UK news broadcaster headquartered near the corridors of power, just minutes from the four pillars the UK establishment - the Supreme Court, the Church of England, Whitehall and the Palace of Westminster."

"The views from our studio reach directly to the City of London and the corporate power of Canary Wharf. And we won’t be subject to the metropolitan elite’s London bias - our news will come from right across the country.”

First launched in December 2005, RT International's award winning network now consists of three global news channels broadcasting in English, Spanish and Arabic. RT UK’s sister channel, RT America, airs from a studio in Washington, DC.

Photo by RT

The network also has a documentary channel, RTDoc, and the RUPTLY video agency, which delivers broadcast-quality news footage from the world’s hotspots. It currently has a global reach of more than 700 million people in over 100 countries.

Polly Boiko suggests RT UK will flout misconceptions and ill-conceived stereotypes surrounding RT International’s content.

“So much is made of how RT is funded. It’s been cast as the Big Bad Wolf of the news media landscape. I think many of us here in the London team see the launch of RT UK as an opportunity to shake off the accusations leveled at the channel,” she said.

“We have a fabulous team of journalists buzzing with excitement to present underreported issues and fresh perspectives, but also to prove the ‘haters’ wrong. Let's let the audiences decide.”