Ukraine crisis: Russia Today news anchor Abby Martin speaks out against 'Russian intervention' during live Breaking the Set broadcast
"Don't worry, I haven't lost my job"
Abby Martin, a journalist working for the state-funded Russia Today news channel spoke out against Russia’s military intervention in Ukraine during a live broadcast – and was promptly ordered to Crimea by the station.
Abby Martin, who works as a news anchor in Washington, told viewers that “Russia was wrong”.
On her show Breaking the Set Ms Martin said that she "wanted to say something from my heart about the ongoing political crisis in Ukraine and Russia's military occupation of Crimea."
Martin continued: "Just because I work here, for RT, doesn't mean I don't have editorial independence and I can't stress enough how strongly I am against any military intervention in sovereign nations' affairs.
"What Russia did is wrong."
She admitted that she did not “know as much as I should about Ukraine’s history or the cultural dynamics of the region”.
“But what I do know is that military intervention is never the answer,” she continued.
"All we can do now is hope for a peaceful outcome for a terrible situation and prevent another full-blown Cold War between multiple superpowers. Until then, I'm telling the truth as I see it."
Shortly afterwards Russia Today offered to send her to Crimea to “better her knowledge” of the crisis.
Russia Today responded: "Contrary to the popular opinion, RT doesn’t beat its journalists into submission, and they are free to express their own opinions, not just in private but on the air. This is the case with Abby’s commentary on the Ukraine.
"We respect her views, and the views of all our journalists, presenters and program hosts, and there will be absolutely no reprimands made against Ms. Martin.
"In her comment Ms Martin also noted that she does not possess a deep knowledge of reality of the situation in Crimea. As such we’ll be sending her to Crimea to give her an opportunity to make up her own mind from the epicentre of the story."
But Martin, who said she had editorial independence on her programme, said she has 'respectfully declined' the offer.
RT is a 24-hour English-language news channel broadcasting in over six continents and 100 countries.
Update: Abby Martin follows up on her statement in latest episode of Breaking the Set show
"I stand by everything I said but the corporate media missed the point"
Belfast Telegraph Digital