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Monday, July 21, 2014

Another Russia Today correspondent quits after bombed Ukraine Malaysia airlines disaster; says RT 'lying and finding sexier ways to do it'.


Another Russia Today (DStv 408) correspondent, this time Sara Firth who was based in Londen for RT, quit over the Krelim-funded 24-hour Russian TV news channel's coverage of the bombing of Malaysia Airlines Flight MN17 over the Ukraine, saying RT is spreading "lies" and that she cannot do it anymore.

"We work for Putin. We are asked on a daily basis if not to totally ignore, then to obscure the truth," Sara Firth, who joined RT in 2009 wrote on Twitter and that "Rule number one" is that "it is always Ukraine's fault".

While the world's TV news channels did stories that pro-Russian terrorists in the east of the country likely shot down Flight 17, RT has been blaming the tragedy on Ukraine and refuses to mention pro-Russian separatists in connection with it, or that Russian president Vladimir Putin should bare responsibility following the instability and conflict in the region.

"I couldn't do it anymore. Every single day we're lying and finding sexier ways to do it," she told BuzzFeed.

"It's the level of disrespect for the facts that really bugs me," she told Press Gazette.

In a statement RT says "Sara has declared she chooses the truth; apparently we have different definitions of truth. We show all sides of the story, even if everyone else has already decided which side is to blame".

Sara Firth's resignation on Friday follows Liz Wahl who shockingly quit on-air on RT in March this year.

Sara Firth spoke to Christiane Amanpour on Amanpour on CNN International (DStv 401). "It was the final nudge, watching RT handling it".

"There's not that journalistic network in operation where you can trust that what's getting put on air is verified and true," said Sara Firth.

"It's a very difficult situation with RT. I've worked there for five years. RT is always called the Kremlin propaganda channel. But that's quite a lazy assessment of what RT is. It's a very complex thing and there is a lot more going on there than that".

"There's wonderfully talented people and there's so many people who really believe in getting the truth out there. And for RT to exist, there is Russian bias, there is misreporting and I've been inside that. So I've felt it. I've felt what that's like".

"At the same time I don't think you counter that by doing the same thing and worse. And I felt that's what we've been doing," said Sara Firth.

"It's such a shame that it has to be such a struggle for us to be able to do our jobs properly. And I cannot emphasise enough how talented and driven and ambitious and honest so many of the people who work at RT every day are".

"But the truth is truth and facts are fact and they exist. I wish that RT would acknowledge that sometimes".

"Our tagline is 'Questioning more'. We're just not doing it," said Sara Firth.