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TVM Broke Media Law By Not Reporting Malta’s Slide Down Corruption Index, PN MP Warns

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PN MP Graham Bencini has filed a complaint against TVM with the Broadcasting Authority for not reporting how Malta registered the lowest score ever in the Corruption Perception Index.

“It’s disgraceful that PBS has not made a single reference to this report, which is of utmost national importance and is therefore in the public interest,” Graham Bencini wrote in a letter to the BA.

Bencini warned that TVM’s failure to report Malta’s new ranking broke a number of subsidiary laws that require broadcasting to be accurate and impartial and report news that is in the public interest.

“The fact that the government’s lack of action to fight corruption wasn’t reported by the public broadcaster confirms the report’s statement that there is political interference in PBS, which is one of the reasons Malta keeps slipping down the index,” he wrote.

“The BA is also constitutionally obliged to monitor PBS and take immediate action in cases like this, without having to wait for a complaint to come in.”

Transparency International’s latest Corruption Perception Index placed Malta at 51 out of 100 – 100 being the cleanest, and 0 signifying high levels of corruption. This is Malta’s lowest ever score in the index and represents a three-point slip from last year.

Malta is ranked on par with Rwanda and Saudi Arabia, just above Croatia and Mauritius and just below Greece and Grenada. It is seven points behind Qatar, despite the ‘Qatargate’ corruption scandal that has rocked the European Parliament.

The CPI measures various types of corruption, from bribery, diversion of public funds, and excessive red tape in the public sector, to access to information on government activities and public affairs. 

Meanwhile, Denmark topped the ranking as the country with the lowest perceived corruption levels, followed by Finland, New Zealand, Norway, Singapore, and Sweden.

Lovin Malta has long been calling for more transparency and better rules for broadcasting and has opened a constitutional case to challenge a proviso in the Broadcasting Act that allows party media stations to circumvent their impartiality obligations.

Do you think Malta’s ranking is fair?

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Tim is interested in the rapid evolution of human society brought about by technological advances. He’s passionate about justice, human rights and cutting-edge political debates. You can follow him on Twitter at @timdiacono or reach out to him at [email protected]

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