Last week, the British government, under the advice of broadcast regulator Ofcom, revoked the television license of the Chinese State news channel; China Global Television Network.
The ban comes after Ofcom ruled that CGTN had violated their fair broadcasting requirements, as well as being controlled by a ‘political body’.
Why has Ofcom taken this action?
Opinions on China have drastically shifted over the last year and a half after the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic and the revelation of the treatment of Chinese Uighurs by the Chinese State.
These opinions have been growing worse throughout the UK, originating in 2019 after the freedom protests in Hong Kong, a former British colony.
Now, the British television regulator, Ofcom, has ordered the removal of the China Global Television Network from UK screens after violating multiple broadcasting rules.
Ofcom ruled that CGTN has violated their rules regarding broadcasters being controlled by what they describe as ‘political bodies’ and that CGTN violated fair broadcasting requirements regarding their coverage of the 2019 Hong Kong protests, protests that the Chinese State deeply opposes.
Ofcom allegedly gave the channel a chance to restructure and reorganize in September last year, however, they received no communication from CGTN regarding any updates to this request.
China blames far-right groups. Will the US follow suit?
A spokesperson for the network claimed that this action taken by Ofcom is a result of ‘manipulation of far-right groups and anti-China forces’, claiming that the CGTN British network is an ‘internationalized media outlet with a good and professional reputation’.
CGTN has been running in the US for numerous years, hosting interviews with American political figures who are willing to give opinions that support the Chinese State.
CGTN America conducted an interview with the now national security advisor to President Joe Biden in 2017, who attacked the former President Donald Trump over his Middle Eastern policy.
The network has also interviewed Neil Bush, a member of the Bush political dynasty.
Bush took aim at the Hong Kong protesters in 2019 and suggested that the possibility of ‘outside forces’ creating tensions between Beijing and Hong Kong was high.
However, CGTN is not the only state media channel that has come under fire in recent years.
Does Russia Today expect the same fate?
The infamous Russia Today channel, a network that is funded by the Russian government all across the world, has had many controversies.
In the UK, RT has been close to a ban multiple times, yet still remains on the air.
Ofcom has found RT to have breached their rules on impartiality ‘multiple times’, as well as one occasion of the network broadcasting ‘materially misleading’ content.
In the US, RT has been involved in numerous controversies, most notably the on-air resignation of RT America anchor Liz Wahl in 2014.
Wahl resigned from the network after RT censored a question from her interview with Ron Paul, regarding the situation involving Russia and Ukraine.
She resigned live on air, stating that Russia Today was a propaganda machine for Russian President Vladimir Putin, claiming that the network was constantly whitewashing his actions.
Both RT and CGTN remain on the air in the United States.