PBS will be used by GonziPN as an important tool in the next electoral campaign. The Gonzi administration is building a framework at the state owned broadcasting service to ensure a biased and partisan approach by PBS during the next election.
Gino Cauchi, the Labour Party spokesman on Media, said during a Press conference that the administrative set up at PBS is now composed of persons who were either part of the Nationalist party or known sympathizers. He mentioned Anton Attard, CEO at PBS, formerly CEO at Net TV; Natalino Fenech, Head of News, who is well known for his political leaning and the recent appointment of Mario Xuereb, as a Junior Manager at PBS. Xuereb has served as Head of News of NET TV and was also Communications coordinator with Minister Chris Said. PBS will also be employing another Junior Manager, Silvana Debono, who has worked as a journalist at Radio 101 and at RTK. Obviously, the above are in addition to the ever increasing presence of Pierre Portelli, ex-President of the PN executive committee as well as Head of News at Net TV, who presents two current affairs programs, one of which on a daily basis and the ever present Lou Bondi who was propaganda chief for the PN.
The PL spokesman said that this is a web of deceit being woven by GonziPN as an integral part of the Nationalist party’s campaign. Excerpts from political news as presented by PBS, which prove the claims made, were shown to the press.
In one of the clips presented, Natalino Fenech, Head of News said that “balance in news broadcasting is non-existent”. Gino Cauchi insisted that, by law, “news should not be based on the wishes, beliefs and ideas of the persons who run the state owned broadcasting service”.
The Labour spokesman on Media criticized the role of PBS in the ‘spin’ created by GonziPN regarding the minimum wage issued invented by the PN. Gino Cauchi also mentioned the omission by PBS of the news that Richard Cachia Caruana retained the title of Ambassador despite a Parliamentary decision to remove him from that post. The PL spokesman also highlighted the biased reporting of Franco Debono’s declaration that he would not be supporting the Gonzi government.
Gino Cauchi concluded by saying that this situation is not acceptable in a state owned and state funded broadcasting service. The Labour party will continue monitoring PBS, especially during this time, so close to the announcement of a general election.