The Broadcasting Authority did not feel the need to take any action over TVM’s complete omission of the pope’s comments on corruption.

In his first speech during his visit to the islands earlier this month, Pope Francis said Malta must continue to fight corruption, foster honesty in politics and stop unbridled construction and land speculation.

All major news organisations and newspapers gave prominence to this part of the pope’s speech except the Labour Party’s station One News and public broadcaster TVM.

TVM’s main news bulletin failed to make any reference to these comments, as did its news website. Instead, TVM eventually uploaded the pope’s full 20-minute speech in Italian.

When asked, BA chief executive Joanna Spiteri said: “The omission of the pope’s reference to corruption is the responsibility of the broadcaster and hence this should be tackled with the broadcaster.”

She said the authority had monitored the two days of transmission and “did not feel the need to put forward any remarks to the station on the matter”.

Public Broadcasting Services have not replied to questions about the issue.

All major news sites gave prominence to this part of the pope’s speech except One News and TVM

According to the webpage of the Ministry for Social Dialogue, the PBS’s mission is to deliver public broadcasting services “to the highest production standards possible”.

“It strives to do this with due impartiality and balance, as dictated by the constitutional provisions.”

PBS has faced continuous criticism and has repeatedly been accused of acting as a government mouthpiece.

It received harsh criticism from the three judges who conducted the Daphne Caruana Galizia murder inquiry.

Their final report stated that PBS had failed in its duty to impartial reporting when it failed to adequately report on serious allegations of corruption flagged by the assassinated journalist.

The judges called for amendments to constitutional provisions establishing the Broadcasting Authority in order to bolster freedom of information.

Earlier this year, Norma Saliba was removed from her position as editor but retained her role as head of news, responsible for the day-to-day running of the TVM newsroom.

The minister responsible for state broadcasting is now Owen Bonnici who took over from Carmelo Abela.

Correction April 19, 2022: A previous version stated that questions were sent to the Culture Ministry.

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