A London-based correspondent for RT, a Russian-government-funded news organization, announced her resignation from the network following its coverage of the shooting down of an airliner in Ukraine yesterday.
The correspondent, Sara Firth, said within minutes of the tragedy, the newsroom was already looking to pin fault on the Ukrainian government and employed a “total disregard to the facts.”
“When this story broke I ran back into the newsroom and saw how we were covering it already and I just knew I had to go,” she told BuzzFeed. “I couldn’t do it any more. Every single day we’re lying and finding sexier ways to do it.”
She shared more about her decision on Twitter:
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
@shaunwalker7 Not hacked Shaun. I don’t think the admissions are too surprising really.— Sara Firth (@Sara__Firth) July 18, 2014
RT style guide Rule 1: It is ALWAYS *Ukraine’s fault (*add name as applicable)— Sara Firth (@Sara__Firth) July 18, 2014
Girth said she had defended RT against accusations that it was a mouthpiece or propaganda network for Russian president Vladimir Putin, but wasn’t willing to do so anymore. “In the end it got to the point where I couldn’t defend it and I didn’t believe there was something to defend,” she told the Guardian.
Earlier this year, RT anchor Liz Wahl famously resigned on the air due to the network’s coverage at the start of the Russia–Ukraine conflict.