Political party media could be a thing of the past if Bernard Grech is elected PN leader after he admitted to Lovin Malta that the country could be better off it “was not indoctrinated by red or blue propaganda”.
“Across the EU, party-owned media stations are banned. We need to look into it but perhaps we could be better off if we were not indoctrinated by red or blue propaganda.”
“But we also need to think about the many people who are working in these industries. We will only shut it down if we can guarantee work for these people,” he said.
Party media has been under the microscope in recent weeks, with Kaxxaturi raising thousands to launch a constitutional case against the media structure. Party media stations could breach the fundamental right to freedom of information, which encompasses the right to receive and impart information which is truthful and which reflects a plurality of opinions.
Malta’s Chamber of Commerce has also weighed in, insisting that political party TV stations “distort the democratic picture which the sector strives to portray”.
There are also financial considerations that come into play. Both ONE productions and NET TV, the media wings of the two biggest political parties, have failed to publish their audited accounts for more than a decade.
It’s not only outsiders who are starting to realise that party media may not have a long future, with MP Chris Said even conceding that the end is nigh for party media.
Meanwhile, in December 2019 the PN formally proposed abolished political party-owned media and turning PBS into a fully independent public broadcaster, monitored by a Broadcasting Authority whose chairman and board members are appointed through a two-thirds parliamentary vote so as to ensure they enjoy the trust of both major parties.
It remains to be seen whether the parties will listen and act. The Deputy Leaders of both the PN and PL have told Lovin Malta that they think party media has a future.
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