British journalist Sara Firth has resigned from her reporter position with Russia Today due to what she says has been biased coverage by the network of the Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 crash, reports The Telegraph.
Firth has been with the English-language television network for five years. But she says the channel’s coverage of the MH17 disaster prompted her exit from the station. Speaking to The Telegraph, she said the network is being used to blame Ukraine for the crash.
She added that the station has aired interviews with witnesses at the crash site claiming Ukrainian forces were responsible for the attack and has failed to asses all the facts surrounding the disaster before drawing conclusions about what led to the crash.
"How convenient that they found someone who was willing to blame the Ukrainian government," Firth said in an interview with the publication.
She added, “The network's position was to immediately blame Ukraine, and then back that up with everything else we did. This is such a volatile situation and that sort of misrepresentation is dangerous."
Before the crash, the network had already faced accusations that it was pushing an agenda that supported the Putin government. Firth says that she had already been planning to leave the network, and the biased crash coverage was “the final nudge.”
Flight MH17 crashed on Thursday in Eastern Ukraine, killing all 298 passengers and crew. While speaking at the White House, U.S. President Barack Obama said that the jetliner was likely shot down by a surface-to-air missile launched from a region that is currently controlled by Russian-backed separatists. But American officials say they are unsure who actually fired the missile that downed the Boeing 777.