RT is a media company owned by the Russian state that disseminates material abroad. The German government says that RT is retailing state propaganda for Russia, and has ordered the shutdown of its recently-opened German-language broadcasting service in Germany.
In other words, the German federal government has declared that it holds a monopoly on state propaganda. No media service in Germany may carry any propaganda other than German state propaganda.
The funniest sentence in this report refers to “the constitutional principle of broadcasting being remote from the state must not be violated, i.e. a state or party must not have any influence on the program content.” As if the German government were “remote” from the program content on the numerous state broadcast outlets in Germany.
By the way — RT performs a useful function, since it carries a lot of material that the major media outlets in the countries it serves won’t touch. However, everything it puts out — and I mean everything — is carefully calculated to serve the interests of the Russian state. It’s important to keep that in mind when watching its programs.
Many thanks to Hellequin GB for translating this article from Die Welt:
RT has to halt German-language TV (in Germany) — Russia threatens retaliation
The Commission for Licensing and Supervision of the media authorities has prohibited the operation of RT DE. In mid-December, the Russian state broadcaster started its German-language TV program with a Serbian broadcasting license. Russia is now threatening countermeasures.
German media regulators are demanding that the Russian state broadcaster RT halt German-language TV programming. The commission for approval and supervision (ZAK) of the media authorities objected and prohibited the event and the distribution of the television program RT DE in Germany, as the media regulators announced on Wednesday in Berlin.
The reason given was that the required media law approval for such a program was not available. No approval has been requested. RT can have the media regulators’ decision reviewed in court. The broadcaster has been asked to comment on the regulators’ decision.
Russia threatened countermeasures. “This step leaves us no choice but to take retaliatory measures against German media accredited in Russia,” Moscow’s Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday. RT announced that it would appeal the decision to court.
In mid-December, the Russian state media organization launched its German-language TV program via various distribution channels, including its website and via satellite. RT relied on a Serbian broadcasting license. The German media regulators, on the other hand, are of the opinion that the organizer of RT DE cannot invoke any other legitimate permission under European law.
The video platform YouTube blocked the corresponding channel on its platform a few hours after it started broadcasting in December, citing community guidelines. A few days later, the satellite operator Eutelsat also stopped broadcasting via satellites. The media regulators had initiated a procedure one day after the start of broadcasting, the result of which is now available with the notification.
RT — formerly Russia Today — has a location in Berlin for RT DE. TV providers require a broadcasting license for nationwide programs in Germany. The distribution path is irrelevant. The media regulators are of the opinion that RT DE Productions GmbH, based in Berlin, is responsible for the program under media law.
One of the licensing requirements is that the constitutional principle of broadcasting being remote from the state must not be violated, i.e. a state or party must not have any influence on the program content.
RT is repeatedly criticized in the West as a propaganda tool of the Kremlin. The main accusation: the broadcaster is spreading conspiracy theories and disinformation on behalf of the Russian state. RT denies that. The station has several foreign-language programs in its portfolio. RT DE has been offering online reports in German for some time. The content is distributed via the website and social media. In December, the live TV program was added.
Afterword from the translator:
Isn’t it “funny” that what’s sauce for the goose is not allowed for the gander in Germany. Only German state propaganda is being allowed via TV to reach the sheeple — along with everything else that doesn’t contradict the Narrative — to keep them docile in fear.