Civil society group Repubblika has written to the European Broadcasting Union expressing concern about the government's “use and abuse” of PBS by the government.

The letter was prompted by a memo to producers of current affairs programmes, requiring them to seek approval of their show topics 15 days in advance.

Revealed by Times of Malta on Tuesday, the memo has raised an outcry, with many saying on social media that programmes could not be current if notice about them had to be given two weeks in advance.

PBS has defended its decision insisting coordination is needed between the various productions.

In its letter to the EBU, Repubblika said it was concerned that the memo was “tantamount to improper interference and may lead to censorship”.

“We are also worried that elements with the Public Broadcasting Services (Malta) are allowing this abuse to go on and sometimes even collaborate in the government’s effort to use public broadcasting in a partisan and partial manner,” Repubblika said.

It said it believed the PBS instructions went contrary to the core values of public service media as espoused and promoted by the EBU.

Repubblika condemned the directive and insisted it should be withdrawn immediately.

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