The Public Broadcasting Services (PBS) is meant to be the state owned operator of the National Television and Radio stations. It does not belong to the PN, even though it is run by PN sympathizers and it is increasing its workforce with PN activists. It should not and it must not take a partisan approach. PBS must desist from taking decisions that are harmful to one party or another. It must act responsibly and fairly. The decision makers are accountable to the people and not to Government officials.
The PBS news chief, Natalino Fenech, has refused to publish the Labour Party’s reply to the allegations made by Richard Cachia Caruana. RCC’s unfounded accusations were transmitted on the National television channel, complete with the disdainful remarks against the PL leader, Dr. Joseph Muscat. Cachia Caruana’s statement, reproduced by PBS, included certain elements that were completely out of context and were not part of RCC’s reply to the statement made by Joseph Muscat.
This abuse of power must stop. The PL has a right of reply and Natalino Fenech or whoever else might have taken the decision to deny the Labour Party its rights must rectify this injustice forthwith.
The Labour Party has referred the matter to the Broadcasting Authority. Pending a decision, the PL’s right of reply is being reproduced hereunder:
GonziPN’s blatant use of PBS for its propaganda
The National Television and radio stations have been used most unashamedly by GonziPN’s propaganda machine in defence of Richard Cachia Caruana.
This week’s edition of ‘Dissett’ transmitted on Monday reproduced an interview with the Labour Party Leader Joseph Muscat. This transmission was followed by a reply formulated by Richard Cachia Caruana. RCC’s reply was a partisan reply, a great part of which had no connection with what Dr. Muscat had said in ‘Dissett’.
If this statement made by Cachia Caruana was intended a ‘right of reply’, it was the responsibility of PBS to edit the reply and remove all comments that did not refer to Dr. Muscat’s interview. Such comments did not qualify as a right of reply.
The right of reply is restricted to a response on the original only and any other comments cannot be accepted as such.
Furthermore, PBS assumed the role of aggressor by referring to Dr. Muscat’s interview on ‘Dissett’ as ‘false and misleading accusations’. They confirmed their partisan role of stepping into the shoes of RCC by assuming responsibility for the disparaging and malicious remarks made by RCC, against Dr. Muscat, as if they were their own comments.
The Labour Party hopes that PBS will not use two weights and two measures when it comes to granting a right of reply to events transmitted on the same television channel. The National Public Broadcasting service has set a standard in granting an immediate right of reply to Cachia Caruana and this practice must be followed rigorously with impartiality and fairness.