Analysis: Social media ban would do more to stop state-backed channel – and Putin may curb BBC in response
On Thursday afternoon the remaining staff of RT’s British operation – including the former Scottish first minister, Alec Salmond – headed to the 16th floor of Westminster’s Millbank Tower and cleared their desks for the final time. After almost a decade on air the British arm of the outlet was in the process of closing down its operations, ahead of the expected loss of its broadcasting licence.
If you’ve heard about Ofcom’s decision to permanently ban the Kremlin-backed television channel RT from UK airwaves, then it’s probably because you have read coverage of the decision rather than because you were a viewer. RT’s most recent audience figures showed it was a statistical afterthought, reaching just 79,000 viewers a day – with most watching for around a minute as they flicked through channels.