May 21, 2018 / 12:33 PM / a month ago

UPDATE 1-Russia's RT faces three new impartiality investigations in Britain

LONDON, May 21 (Reuters) - Britain’s media regulator on Monday opened a further three investigations into Russian news channel RT to see whether it had breached impartiality rules in its reporting.

Ofcom has previously warned that RT producer TV Novosti could lose its right to broadcast in Britain after it said it had found a number of cases of impartiality following a nerve agent attack on former Russian spy Sergei Skripal in March.

The poisoning, which Britain blamed on Russia, strained relations between the two countries and led to the biggest Western expulsions of diplomats since the height of the Cold War. Russia has denied any involvement.

Ofcom said on Monday it was now investigating 11 RT programmes for breaching impartiality rules, with the latest three cases concerning its coverage of U.S. foreign policy, the policies of Ukraine’s government and fracking in Britain.

The investigations will examine whether the coverage was sufficiently balanced. Ofcom, which is independent of the government, has previously said there was a high threshold for finding that a broadcaster was not fit to hold a licence.

“We note the new investigations by Ofcom, and will work with the regulator through its processes,” a spokesman for RT said. (Reporting by Kate Holton; editing by Michael Holden)

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