The TV stations owned by Malta’s two main political parties today formally requested to be interveners in the court case filed by Lovin Malta against a provision in the Broadcasting Act.
Lovin Malta’s crowdfunded case, which requests a proviso to Article 13 of the Broadcasting Act to be declared anti-constitutional, was filed against the State Advocate.
The proviso allows the Broadcasting Authority to turn a blind eye to the Constitution’s demand for impartiality in TV news. The law allows the BA to permit propaganda on the premise that One and Net balance each other out.
The preliminary hearing of the case was held today before incoming Judge Ian Spiteri Bailey.
The State Advocate and Lovin Malta did not object to the political party stations becoming interveners in the case, but Lovin Malta asked the stations to clarify their interest in the case.
One TV, represented by lawyer Pawlu Lia, has argued that if the proviso is declared anti-constitutional, it would seriously affect the station’s operations and even “its very existence”.
Lawyer Veronica Perici Calascione, who is appearing for Media.Link (which owns Net TV), will clarify the company’s interest in the coming days.
The next sitting will be heard on October 4th, before which Judge Spiteri Bailey is expected to decide whether to allow One and Net to be parties in the case.
Opposition leader Bernard Grech recently argued that the two stations cannot balance each other out.
“If we want to have a mature electorate, we must stop deluding ourselves into thinking that political party stations can balance each other out. How can you balance out the character assassination that Daphne Caruana Galizia suffered before she was killed,” Grech said during the State of the Nation event recently organised by the President.
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