The journalists' institute has demanded 'immediate and concrete action' after the Broadcasting Authority after questions from the press were once against cut from a live broadcast on TVM. 

The national broadcaster ended its live transmission of a Castille press conference introducing new measures to address the COVID-19 pandemic on Friday before deputy Prime Minister Chris Fearne began to take journalists' questions. 

In a statement, the Institute of Maltese Journalists (IĠM) said the decision amounted to censorship and meant that TVM had "become a State Broadcaster and not a National Broadcaster."

"On this, the third anniversary of the murder of a journalist who fought for freedom of expression, this censorship and protection of the powerful at the expense of the citizen is a slap in the face of democracy," the institute said. 

The IGM said it had received assurances from the BA, after a similar incident in August, that the issue would be reconsidered. It called for "immediate and concrete action", warning that it would otherwise seek other remedies. 

In August, the broadcasting authority justified the approach on grounds that it was legally obliged to prevent “unexpected questions” which might turn a broadcast containing information of national importance to a platform for political statements.

Nationalist Party leader Bernard Grech, then a candidate for the leadership, also condemned the BA's position. 

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