Labour and Nationalist politicians have defended their party’s TV stations in the wake of Lovin Malta’s impending, crowdfunded court case.
ONE Television’s Executive Chairman Jason Micallef criticised the case, saying he’s ready to fight for his station’s “fundamental right” to continue broadcasting.
“One was born to remain, and no Lovin Malta and their fellow puppets who call themselves paladins of freedom of expression will stop us,” he wrote on Facebook.
“I am ready to fight this attack in court, even if I am alone… let alone when I know that there are many thousands of Maltese and Gozitan families who will be behind us to defend what is ours by right according to the constitution.”
ONE’s page has even updated its cover photo, with a slogan stressing that they’re “here to stay”.
Meanwhile, Nationalist Party general secretary Francis Zammit Dimech told Times of Malta that until there is a “proper level playing field”, the party won’t renounce their right to a TV station.
“We cannot renounce the right to our own party station when we know we are suffering a double disadvantage because the party in government is using all its resources to use the national broadcaster to its ad- vantage,” the former PN minister stressed, also pointing towards state officials misuse of social media advertising.
“Once there’s a level playing field, we can discuss.”
Newspaper L-Orrizont also reported that The General Workers Union called an urgent meeting for employees of ONE, which it represents, to discuss their uncertain future in light of the court case.
Lovin Malta recently gave notice to the State Advocate that it will ask the constitutional court to decide whether a law that permits party-owned propaganda TV stations ONE and NET should be declared unconstitutional.
The Constitution requires all broadcasting to be impartial and the Broadcasting Act states that it should be as impartial as possible. Despite this, a proviso in Article 13 of the Act enables party stations to exist on the premise that they “balance each other out”.
Lovin Malta is urging political parties to shut down their TV stations, which are bankrupt and have not filed their audited accounts in more than a decade.
Hundreds of people donated more than €7,200 last year to help Lovin Malta mount the constitutional challenge after an episode of Kaxxaturi.
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