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Busuttil’s gaffes repackaged into One News’s misleading ‘reporter’s life’ item

Labour’s media machine is at an all-time high: the party’s TV reporters have managed to repackage the Opposition’s gaffes into a news item on ‘a journalist’s life’

matthew_vella
Matthew Vella
28 July 2016, 1:15pm
Opposition leader Simon Busuttil’s encounters with the Labour press have been recycled into more political fodder
Opposition leader Simon Busuttil’s encounters with the Labour press have been recycled into more political fodder
One News, Labour’s television channel, recently underwent an online news upgrade that, in more ways than one, has heightened the news channel’s propaganda effect.

Party journalists at One and Media.Link, the Nationalist media organ, are well-trained Rottweilers who are assiduous at their jobs: they sniff out and mangle opposition weaknesses, report and spin the news, then repackage the events of the week in discussion programmes that serve as launch-pads for candidates and soapboxes for ministers, MPs, and party supporters.

Journalism is an effective vehicle for these party employees, whose work can vary from ground-breaking exposés and political analyses, to base spin and groundless commentary.

But One News’s latest news item on ‘a journalist’s life’ is either one of the most misleading pieces of journalism, or an astute touch of propaganda that shows the well-honed skills of Labour’s media machine.

“What do us journalists do exactly? We run around a lot, we ask a lot of questions, we bother some and get bothered ourselves. What’s sure is we do our with passion…”

Sounds promising for an opener to an informative and self-critical report on journalists’ work…

Instead, the newsroom has repackaged an entire year of Simon Busuttil’s thin-skinned encounters with the Labour press, and other sorry displays from Opposition MPs and party activists into a seven-minute news item that claims to show the turbulent life

Now Busuttil is notoriously uncooperative with the Labour press, whose high-octane political baiting can be equally unethical and imposing at times.

But it’s revealing of Labour’s media strategy that it can still keep the Opposition leader in the news on the thinnest of premises, even when the sweltering heat of July seems to have no more room for politics.

matthew_vella
Matthew Vella is executive editor at MaltaToday.
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