Chief Ukrainian Reuter’s Correspondent Richard Balmforth’s interesting LinkedIn profile, including his service as a NATO Information officer and a 45 year role described as “XXXX” working for “XXXX” in a period where the CIA in 1976 admitted to having agents working across the Western media, including Reuters.
July 12, 2014
(updated March 10, 2015 with screenshots and re-formatting )
Richard Balmforth is the Chief Correspondent in Ukraine, Belarus and Moldava for Reuter’s.
His LinkedIn profile – the header displayed above – appropriately labels his profession as “Media Production” because indeed as his articles show, his job is more a careful and deliberate exercise in manufacturing an end-product designed to evoke a specific response rather than reporting on events.
I have written about the obvious bias and propaganda in his reporting. What’s especially galling is that some of his current characterizations as Yanukovych as pro-Moscow (and by implication anti-Europe) bely the complex nature of Ukranian politics as Balmforth himself wrote in July 2010.
Yanukovych says he wants to restore strong ties with Russia that were damaged by the anti-Russian policies of Yushchenko. But he adds that integration into the European mainstream remains a major strategic goal.
But this post is not about his clear bias and penchant for agitprop. It’s his background.
Perusing his LinkedIn profile, his info reads:
The next piece is where things start getting interesting. His background includes serving as an “Information Officer” for NATO and certainly some intriguing details.
“Ran some NATO projects in Ukraine”?
The most curious is this piece of work experience in his profile:
What’s “xxxx” (repeated twice: once obviously the organization he worked for and the second, the role)? Why does he feel compelled to put that in there? Is it as innocent as some sort of template he copied that was left in there (if so why the specificity of the dates)? Is he slyly referencing his part in some sort of Operation Mockingbird type program where “400 reporters over a 25 year period across the world media including the New York Times and Reuters ” as Carl Bernstein in a damning 1977 expose revealed were working for the CIA?
Why does it specifically end in 2013?
Whether Balmforth’s was a CIA asset during the admitted Operation Mockingbird media cooption or not, his admitted background in media management aka propaganda for NATO, the most potent military machine on the planet, should make him eminently unsuited for a journalistic job. Yet here he is: Chief Correspondent at Reuters in Ukraine managing the crafting of reports to influence the opinion of the vast Reuters audience for whatever purpose his erstwhile (and perhaps current) bosses in the US government want.