The Institute of Maltese Journalists had condemned the Broadcasting Authority’s directive to censor questions during a live press conference on the State television channel.
Describing it as a decision that "beggars belief", the institute said the directive it gave to Public Broadcasting Services to stop the transmission before the journalists start asking their questions is a form of censorship which is unacceptable in any democratic state.
“This is a decision which beggars belief. In no democratic state is this sort of censorship acceptable. By its decision, the BA has effectively forced the State broadcaster into one similar to that found in totalitarian regimes,” the institute said in a statement announcing that it had asked for a meeting about the matter.
It said the “state-sponsored censorship” was imposed on PBS by the BA through a ruling it delivered in June in a decision on a request for redress requested by the Nationalist Party over partisan replies given by Prime Minister Robert Abela during a press conference in reply to questions by journalists.
The BA said that since the imbalance arose from the questions, it ordered PBS to stop the transmission before the journalists start asking their questions.
The institute said that through its decision, the BA had silenced all journalists.