Regulating party-owned media could reach Malta’s cabinet after Minister within the Office of the Prime Minister Carmelo Abela revealed he was open to discussing the issue for the sake of constitutionally-enshrined impartiality and balance.
“What I think has little relevance”, the minister said, when asked by Lovin Malta on the Broadcasting Authority’s laissez-faire handling of party-owned media.
“It is a constitutional body, so while I don’t agree with every decision taken, we must respect the decision of such authorities.”
Abela, whose mixed portfolio includes broadcasting authorities, addressing a press conference this afternoon to sign new obligations for the public service broadcaster, pledging for double the amount of funding for Television Malta.
TVM will now receive €6 million a year for five years.
“The state affirms its belief in media pluralism,” he explained.
Malta’s broadcasting obligations ensure that programmes on TVM are “balanced and impartial”, while the Broadcasting Authority is the constitutional body to ensure guidelines are followed.
Questions remain as to why party-owned media stations are allowed to transmit in a fashion that is clearly anti-constitutional, and why the Broadcasting Authority’s board is decided by Labour and Nationalist parties.
When asked by Lovin Malta whether the appointing of BA board members is a conflict of interest, Abela said he is “open to discussions”.
Lovin Malta’s questions can be seen at 15.00 in the video.
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