News TV. RT, previously known as Russia Today, is a global multilingual television news network based in Russia. RT was the first all-digital Russian TV network. RT offers unique insight into many aspects of Russian history, culture and opinion. This is the French speaking channel of RT.
RT France, also known as RT en français, is the French version of the Russian state-controlled news channel RT. The channel is based in the Paris suburb of Boulogne-Billancourt and funded by the Russian government.
Similar to other RT channels, the neutrality and objectivity of RT France’s information is regularly questioned.
RT revealed in late 2015 its willingness to develop its TV network among the French-speaking audience in countries such as France, Belgium and Switzerland. The channel was launched on December 18, 2017, broadcasting in France, Belgium, Canada and the Mediterranean.
Xenia Fedorova currently holds the position of President and News Director. The newsroom has 70 journalists and a technical staff of around 50.
The channel, like other RT channels, cycles around 30 minutes of news and 30 minutes of other features, 24/7, and is able to provide rolling coverage on breaking news events when warranted.
Assessments and responses
The political science researcher Maxime Audinet discussed the neutrality of RT France by stating: “Today it’s not easy at all to find “fake news”, or at least gross attempts at misinformation on the sites of RT, for example. They certainly have a conspiratorial past, but it definitely seems more interesting to observe the nature of their editorial line, which is highly selective and consistent with the Moscow-based view of the world.”
In 2017, current French president Emmanuel Macron accused RT France of spreading “propaganda” during his 2017 presidential campaign and banned RT reporters from his campaign headquarters. He described the channel as a tool for “influence-peddling.”
On June 28, 2018, RT France was found in breach by the CSA for “failures of honesty, the rigor of the information and the diversity of the viewpoints” in a subject on the Syria. In a topic broadcast on April 13, “disputing the reality of chemical weapons attacks in the Syrian city of Douma”, the CSA observed that the channel “had not faithfully translated comments of Syrian witnesses”. The CSA imposed no sanctions on RT, but the regulator has the authority to fine a broadcaster or suspend its licence. However, RT acknowledged that these actual words were spoken by the witness, but in a longer version of the interview that was not broadcast on air.