Political party stations were never intended to last forever and could see a “phasing out” as part of a broader political reform, according to Roberta Metsola.
The Nationalist MEP shared her thoughts on party stations as part of a Lovin Malta documentary which followed her election as First Vice President of the European Parliament.
“I don’t think that when Net TV was set up 20 years ago the idea was for that channel to last forever,” Metsola said when asked for her opinion on the matter.
“But at the same time, you need a whole reform. So I would not target party political TV stations without looking at the big picture.”
She said one had to identify whether the national broadcaster was “actually behaving as an independent, objective broadcaster”.
There was also the need to have “equality of arms” and this could be done as part of a wider reform on whether political parties should be State-funded, whether politicians should be full-time and what other resources they are given.
“So when we’re talking about television stations and radio and media, I would definitely not target them immediately but I would consider their phasing out in a broader more objective political reform,” she concluded.
Malta is the only EU country which has political parties owning TV stations, despite our Constitution plainly saying that broadcasting in Malta should be impartial.
The Broadcasting Act of 1991 was designed to allow party stations to exist on the pretence they balance each other out – a premise that will be challenged in court by Lovin Malta next year.
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