After analysing TVM’s 8pm news bulletins over the past two months, the Nationalist Party has published statistics to show it is being seriously mistreated by the national broadcaster.
PN deputy leader David Agius and candidate Alessia Psaila Zammit told a press conference that while TVM’s bulletin published interviews and soundbites by PL ministers 88 times between 1st August and 15th September, not a single soundbite was granted to a PN MP during the same time period.
He said PN proposals and initiatives always included a journalist’s voice-over and tended to be relegated to the end of the news bulletin, sometimes even after adverts and international news.
“TVM is becoming a publicly-funded tool to broadcast PL propaganda,” Agius said. “It is employing people from PL and giving top jobs to PL loyalists to make sure the people receive the message the PL wants them to receive instead of the full truth.”
Agius also showed pie charts breaking down TVM 8pm bulletin coverage for four days this September, with PN-related news never obtaining more than 10% of air time.
A journalist from ONE News challenged Agius’ interpretation of TVM’s coverage by suggesting the PN wasn’t differentiating between government events and political activities.
However, the PN deputy leader argued that one cannot differentiate between the Labour Party and PL ministers and that the Constitution obliges broadcasting balance between government and opposition.
Meanwhile, PN candidate Clifford Zahra Fenech analysed a particular 8pm news bulletin from last week, which included soundbites by three Cabinet members and Malta Enterprise CEO Kurt Farrugia.
The local news was followed by international news and, after half an hour, news about a visit made by Opposition leader Bernard Grech to Swieqi residents and a press conference by PN MP Jason Azzopardi in which he proposed a fund for businesses to cushion the impact of transportation costs.
In both cases, the news included a voiceover by a TVM journalist.
Lovin Malta has asked TVM’s head of news Norma Saliba for a response to the PN’s warnings.
Do you think TVM should be more balanced?