Xarabank is not a neutral programme and will continue with its agenda in favour of minorities, presenter Peppi Azzopardi says, insisting it remains an "uncomfortable" vehicle for those in power.

Mr Azzopardi rejects criticism that the programme should stop putting experts and the misinformed on the same national platform, but admits that some editions of the Friday show have been relegated into screaming matches. 

Interviewed by Times of Malta's online editor Herman Grech, Mr Azzopardi says: "Not all popular programmes are good, but you can't have a good programme if it's not popular. What's the point of having an educational and informative programme if nobody's watching? We're trying to mix entertainment and information."

Mr Azzopardi says journalists can never be neutral and even have a duty to make their views public, but they need to be fair in carrying out their jobs. 

He says the government's decision to incarcerate nine migrants from Mali as they await deportation was obscene and speaks about the prison authorities' decision to bar inmates from calling Xarabank.

Asked whether Xarabank is past its sell-by date, he replies: "I will continue doing the programme as long as it remains popular... and as long as they let us doing it".

Watch the full Times Talk interview in the above video.

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