Are public funds being used to subsidise the media companies of political parties? That’s the question Civil Society Network wants answered in an investigation into the use of public resources used for partisan interests, especially work contracts in the public sector to employees of the Labour Party within ONE Group.
CSN’s call comes after it yesterday emerged that the entire Cabinet of ministers is under criminal investigation for misusing public finances on their own social media accounts.
“Since the entire Cabinet is under criminal investigation for the misuse of public resources for their personal use, the issue is raised on consultancies and roles within the government which are given out to employees of the Labour Party media,” CSN said.
“It is well known that the largest costs incurred by the two established political parties are their media wings. It is no secret that many ONE Group employees simultaneously enjoy contracts in the public sector. Thus, there is a basis to investigate whether public funds are used to effectively subsidise media agencies belonging to political parties,” it argued.
In the past days, Lovin Malta reported that the media companies belonging to the two major political parties have failed to publish their audited accounts for more than a decade.
“In Malta, a lack of party-state distinction creates a tension in the political topography of the country, and undermines the strength of the independent press who has to compete with the Government. In recent years, international reports have lamented the erosion of media freedom that has continued to decline after the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia.”