State broadcaster PBS has informed current affairs show producers that, with immediate effect, they must obtain prior approval for the topics of the show.
“Kindly note that with immediate effect, all the producers of current affairs programmes need to obtain approval from the PBS Management before proceeding with the topics of their programmes,” a memo sent by PBS chairman Mark Sammut and published by Times of Malta reads.
“In this regard, the management needs to be informed 15 days in advance with the topics which are going to be discussed in their respective programmes and relative guests.”
They told producers to send all details to PBS head of news Norma Saliba for the management’s pre-approval.
PBS recently revamped their TV stations, with TVM now focusing on drama and entertainment shows and TVMNews+ (formerly TVM2) focusing on current affairs and sports.
Journalists who used to work with PBS have flagged political interference from the top, with Mark Laurence Zammit stating this was the reason he decided to step away from his popular show L-Erbgħa Fost il-Ġimgħa.
Peppi Azzopardi has also warned that former PBS CEO Charles Dalli had unsuccessfully tried to censor a Xarabank interview with former PN leader Simon Busuttil, and suggested his resistance to this interference was the reason his show was axed last year.
Amidst repeated accusations from the PN that PBS’ news coverage is biased in favour of the Labour Party, Broadcasting Minister Carmelo Abela insisted yesterday that the PN’s problem was that it didn’t have a message worthy of the state broadcaster’s time.
Do you watch TVM?