Russia Today lost a court fight in the European Union and remains banned in the EU.
RT, a Russian state propaganda broadcaster, was trying to appeal its ban in the EU, a decision taken in March. However, the European General Court dismissed the appeal. The Kremlin condemned the decision and promised to retaliate with similar measures against Western media in Russia.
As Reuters reminds, ”the EU sanction, which applies to RT’s English unit and operations in Britain, Germany, France and Spain, means RT content cannot be broadcast or disseminated by EU operators.”
At the same time, Russian propaganda and particularly RT are expanding beyond Europe. The broadcaster is setting up its first Africa hub in South Africa as the Kremlin seeks to increase its support in the African region.
Africa has disproportionately suffered from increasing food prices resulting from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and especially Russia’s naval blockade of Ukraine, but many African countries have stayed largely neutral on the invasion. Now Russia seeks to expand its influence on the continent.
RT’s South Africa bureau will be headed by Paula Slier, a broadcaster who led RT’s Middle East bureau, Bloomberg reports.
The French parliament approved a bill that abolishes the country’s TV licence fee – an annual €138 tax that finances the bulk of French public broadcasters’ budgets.
As The Local notes, the TV licence raises €3.7 billion a year; almost two thirds of the money goes to France Télévisions, 15.9% to Radio France, among other institutions. The rationale behind scrapping the fee is increasing French people’s purchasing power, part of President Emmanuel Macron’s broader strategy set out in his reelection campaign.
Public broadcasters will now be funded from the state budget by a fraction of the VAT, Variety notes. The amount of funding has not changed, but the reforms have raised worries about the broadcasters’ editorial independence, as they will be more directly reliant on the government for funding, as well about the fact that it might be easier to cut their budget in the future.