The Nationalist Party has set up a legal team to explore possible legal recourse that can be taken to reverse "the serious imbalance" on the national television station, deputy leader David Agius said on Friday.

Agius said the TVM news was favouring the government and Labour Party exponents to the detriment of the PN.  

An exercise carried out by the PN between August and September 20 revealed that cabinet members appeared on TVM news 195 times when compared to the 66 times that opposition exponents appeared on the news. The government had 109 soundbites and interviews while the PN had none.

Prime Minister Robert Abela appeared 24 times, seven of which included soundbites while Opposition leader Bernard Grech appeared 15 times with no soundbites.

Agius said the Broadcasting Authority was abdicating its responsibility to ensure impartiality in public broadcasting and ensure that the PN is given equal treatment to the government. He said the BA did not have the required resources to monitor what was going on but was in the process of recruiting more people.

He said that after the Prime Minister, most airtime was given to Energy Minister Miriam Dalli followed by Transport Minister Ian Borg and Home Affairs Minister Byron Camilleri.

“The national television station has been taken over by the Labour Party and the Labour government and has become a government noticeboard,” Agius said.

PN candidate Alessia Psaila Zammit said the PN was determined to fight this imbalance and had set up a legal team to look into what legal action could be taken to ensure impartiality and make sure that the PN is given fair and equal treatment.

Times of Malta reported recently how past and present reporters for the national broadcasting station complained that they were allowed to do little “proper” journalism and are discouraged from pursuing stories that could potentially embarrass the government. 

They complained TVM’s news had been relegated to a government noticeboard and that proper journalism is being stifled at the Public Broadcasting Services newsroom. There was also no distinction between the station and the government, they claimed, with the fine line being often ignored.

Independent journalism costs money. Support Times of Malta for the price of a coffee.

Support Us