Russia Today, also known as RT, is an international news network funded by the Russian government whose English broadcasts are heavily promoted in New York and Washington D.C. The channel has also become a favorite of conspiracy theorists, thanks to its willingness to host guests that accuse the U.S. government of real and perceived shenanigans abroad. The network, which the Russian government promotes as being similar to a BBC (UK) or Al Jazeera (Qatar) model, has long had an ambiguous relationship with the Russian government.
However, Max Fisher of the Washington Post recently caught an RT interview between Vladimir Putin and editor-in-chief Margarita Simonyan. Putin said that “I’d like to emphasize something of key importance. We never expected this to be a news agency or a channel which would defend the position of the Russian political line. We wanted to bring an absolutely independent news channel to the news arena.”
In addition, Putin claimed “When we designed this project back in 2005, we intended introducing another strong player on the world’s scene, a player that wouldn’t just provide an unbiased coverage of the events in Russia but also . . . try to break the Anglo-Saxon monopoly on the global information streams. And it seems to me that you’re succeeding in this job.”