A London-based reporter for Russia’s state-owned English-language channel RT has quit in protest at its coverage of the Malaysia Airlines crash in Ukraine.
Sara Firth is the second person since March to publicly resign from RT, formerly known as Russia Today, over its coverage of the Ukraine crisis.
“I resigned from RT today. I have huge respect for many in the team, but I’m for the truth,” Firth wrote on her Twitter account @Sara__Firth on Friday.
I resigned from RT today. I have huge respect for many in the team, but I’m for the truth. pic.twitter.com/mZ1g0R7N0D
— Sara Firth (@Sara__Firth) July 18, 2014
The Kremlin-funded channel, which provides a staunchly pro-Russia version of events, told AFP that Firth “has declared that she chooses the truth; apparently we have different definitions of truth”.
“We believe that the truth is what our reporters see on the ground, with their own eyes, and not what’s printed in the morning London newspapers,” channel spokeswoman Anna Belkina said in an email.
She said RT was “not surprised” by Firth’s decision to leave as she had spoken of plans to switch jobs.
Firth’s resignation followed her outpouring of other critical tweets denouncing the “lies” by RT.
Firth made the comments after one blogger accused her RT colleague Polly Boiko of “taking money to spread (Russian President Vladimir) Putin’s lies” about the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, which went down in rebel-held eastern Ukraine with 298 people aboard on Thursday.
“What am I spreading?” Boiko shot back.
“Lies hun,” Firth then stepped in.
“We do work for Putin. We are asked on a daily basis if not to totally ignore then to obscure the truth.”
“We’re taking a paycheck and for that we have to always obey,” she later added.
In March a US-based presenter with RT, Liz Wahl, announced during a live broadcast that she was quitting over the channel’s “whitewashing” of Kremlin’s actions on the Crimean peninsula.
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