Appeals court increases damages awarded to PN over breach of rights by PBS and BA

The court upheld a decision against PBS and the Broadcasting Authority after the Nationalist Party filed a lawsuit last year

An appeals court has upheld a decision against the Public Broadcasting Services (PBS) and the Broadcasting Authority (BA) for impartial reporting against the Nationalist Party.

Damages have been increased from €1,500 to €5,000 for each of the two separate incidents.

The initial ruling was made in July last year when the Nationalist Party filed a lawsuit against PBS and the BA, claiming a lack of impartiality and protection against discrimination.

The first issue arose when it took PBS three months to publish a right of reply the PN had won, concerning an interview that aired on TVAM about the newly inaugurated Marsa flyover project.

The second issue concerned political advertising spots concerning the 2022 Budget, where PN's adverts were "neutralised" when placed between government ads.

The court initially ruled in favour of the PN on the first issue, but not on the second. But the appeals court went on to rule in favour of the PN on the Budget averts as well. 

The Broadcasting Authority was found to have failed to ensure impartiality with the speed and proactivity needed in broadcasting.