Sara Firth, British Journalist, Resigns From Russia Today Over Biased MH17 Crash Coverage

  @TreyeGreen t.green@ibtimes.com on July 18 2014 3:27 PM
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An emergency services worker photographs debris from an Malaysia Airlines plane crash on July 18, 2014, in Grabovka, Ukraine. Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 travelling from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur crashed yesterday on the Ukraine/Russia border near the town of Shaktersk. The Boeing 777 was carrying 298 people including crew members, the majority of the passengers being Dutch nationals, believed to be at least 173, 44 Malaysians, 27 Australians, 12 Indonesians and 9 Britons. It has been speculated that the passenger aircraft was shot down by a surface to air missile by warring factions in the region. Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images

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. 

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