Malta - March 2023
Case highlights impartiality in state broadcasting
Malta’s Broadcasting Authority (BA) has upheld an impartiality complaint filed against ONE, a media outlet owned by the ruling Labour party, in a significant case in the regulation of party-owned news stations. The Broadcasting Authority ruled against ONE’s decision not to report on ADPD – The Green Party’s press conference about a recent hospital privatisation scandal, and concluded that ONE had been “systematically failing to broadcast ADPD statements in the past months”. It is the first time that BA has found that a station owned by a political party committed a violation by not reporting another party’s perspective. ADPD – The Green Party called on BA to issue directives that would ensure improved media impartiality. The case follows a recent Constitutional Court ruling upholding a judge’s finding in July 2022 that the national broadcaster PBS had failed to treat the National Party impartially by hindering the impact of a political advertisement.