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How a French satellite tv for pc operator helps preserve Russia’s TV propaganda on-line


Enlarge / Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks throughout the Moscow Urban Forum 2018 on July 18, 2018 in Moscow, Russia.

Getty Images | Mikhail Svetlov

Not lengthy after Russia steamrolled into South Ossetia in 2008, successfully annexing the territory of its southern neighbor, a gaggle of Georgians banded collectively to arrange a brand new Russian-language tv station, a voice impartial of the Kremlin: Kanal PIK.

With the assistance of Georgia’s public broadcaster, they signed a five-year take care of French satellite tv for pc operator Eutelsat to beam their station into the Caucasus. Just two weeks after they launched in 2010, Eutelsat notified PIK that they have been dropped. Their area on the satellite tv for pc had been promised to Gazprom Media Group, a chief pillar in Moscow’s tightly managed media system.

Kanal PIK stated in a assertion on the time that the saga “leaves Intersputnik and Gazprom Media Group—both of which adhere to the Kremlin’s editorial line—with a de facto satellite transmission monopoly over Russian-language audience.” Kanal PIK would purchase a spot on one other Eutelsat a 12 months later, however the station struggled and went darkish in 2012.




More than a decade on, Russia as soon as once more finds itself attempting to consolidate its info hegemony within the area. And, as soon as once more, Eutelsat is making it doable. But two consultants on the satellite tv for pc trade say it’s time that Ukraine’s allies step up and power Eutelsat to prioritize actual reportage on the scenario in Ukraine over Russia’s state-backed disinformation.

“It’s not normal that a French satellite is used for a propaganda war,” says André Lange, one half of the Denis Diderot Committee. If their proposals are adopted, “it would be a bomb going off in the Russian media world,” says Jim Phillipoff, a former satellite tv for pc TV government and ex-Kyiv Post CEO. He’s the opposite half of the Diderot Committee.

Formed in March, Phillipoff and Lange’s committee has, basically, just one advice: Unplug Russia’s primary satellite tv for pc tv suppliers from the Eutelsat satellites and substitute them with stations carrying impartial and credible journalism into Russia. “That’s the ultimate goal of our effort—to actually provide alternative media channels into the Russian television space that are not controlled by the Russian government,” Phillipoff tells WIRED.

Russian tv has been ubiquitously and unfailingly in favor of the battle towards Ukraine, dutifully selling Moscow’s official propaganda—and, all too typically, disinformation. Satellite tv is very vital, notably for areas with poor broadband connectivity. The Council of Europe estimates that about 30 % of Russian households pay for satellite tv for pc tv. About half of the nation has satellite tv for pc dishes on their houses, Phillipoff says.

Those dishes are largely calibrated to obtain indicators from 5 satellites, all managed by Eutelsat. The two most vital satellites orbit at 36° east, giving them protection for a lot of Eastern Europe and western Russia: One, 36B, is owned straight by Eutelsat; the opposite, 36C, is owned by the Russian authorities and leased to Eutelsat—which, in flip, leases area again to Russian tv operators. The different three satellites are owned straight by Russia however managed by Eutelsat and canopy central, northern, and japanese Russia.



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