Court ruling on BA censorship 'an ugly precedent'

Pro-divorce lobby Movement Iva expressed surprise at the Constitutional Court ruling that upheld the Broadcasting Authority’s decision to pull the Fr Charles Vella spot.

Moviment Iva proponent and Labour MP Evarist Bartolo has described a Constitutional Court ruling that upheld the censorship of a Moviment IVA advert as an “ugly precedent” that will allow politicians to have clips pulled off the air simply because they did not give their consent to them.

The ruling follows in the wake of a Constitutional Court case opened by Moviment Iva after the BA pulled a promo clip off the air. The clip showed excerpts from a 2010 interview with Moviment Cana founder Fr Charles Vella where he said: “divorce doesn’t scare me.”

He also pointed out that all local TV stations habitually and regularly, with the “blessing” and “direction” from the BA itself, use each other’s footage without requesting permission.

“Should we now have to start meeting around a table to ask each other permission for every piece of footage we want to use?” he asked.

He also pointed out that the BA had originally accepted for the clip to be aired, and it had been in fact aired twice. “It was only after Fr Vella complained that the BA suddenly found fault with the clip and pulled it off the air,” he said.

He also said that it was accepted that “if someone went on TV, and read the contents of the interview out aloud him or herself, neither the court nor the BA’s legal team would have had any issue.”

Speaking about the ruling, Moviment Iva chairperson Deborah Schembri remarked that the ruling was especially surprising in the light that “everyone agreed that we did not misrepresent Fr Vella or edit what he said in any way.”

She reiterated that since the interview had already been aired on TV, and since Fr Vella is a public figure (as Cana founder), “and since he said what he did fully knowing the shock he would cause,” the ruling is unfounded.

She also pointed out that Moviment Iva had requested and obtained the necessary permissions as stipulated by the BA’s own rules.

“Anyone who thinks we needed his consent is mistaken,” she insisted. “If he said what he did privately, it would be understandable, but he didn’t.”

She confirmed however that the Moviment Iva would not be contesting the decision, “as it would be pointless given how so little time exists for an appeal to be made, a counter argument to be put forward by the BA, for a ruling to be written, and the clip to be aired again.”

“There was no real issue,” Nationalist MP Jeffrey Pullicino Orlando insisted. “It was only another obstacle set in our way.”

“It is now up to the BA to deal with the Pandora’s Box that it has now opened,” he added, referring to how the ruling will set the precedent by which all politicians will now have to give their consent when clips featuring their comments are aired, during political campaigns for instance.

More in Divorce Referendum
avatar
Mazzun http://www.tasteyourownmedicine.com/
avatar
Jiena ma nqabbel lil hadd, jiena nivvota kif jidirli jiena , ghax il-VOT TIEGHI! Nemmen li kulhadd ghandhu jivvota kif jahsibha huwa, minghajr indil la politiku u l-anqas religjuz, izda skond il-kuxjenza tieghu/a. ghalmenu bniedem hieles hekk ghandhu jaghmel.
avatar
The Constitutional Court has proved the No to Divorce right. Now what will the yes group say. Will they state that the Constitutional Court is biased? This decision has proved who is trying to ffol whom. The No group is made up of much more serious people. How can you compare Dr.Andre Camilleri, Dr.Bernard Grech, Mary Louise Coleiro Preca, Carmelo Abela to people like JPO. JPO is just trying to make us forget about the Mistra saga.
avatar
Hadt pjacir nara l-intervista kollha. Il-monsinjur beda jghid il-fatti kif inhuma u fl-ebda hin ma deher favur id-divorzju. Ma hemm xejn hazin li toqghod tisma l-intervista kollha u mhux biss imma kien hemm ohrajn li ta. Il-problema kienet li tal-pro divorce gabuha tidher li hu favur id-divorzju...hareg statement biex juri car il-fehma tieghu u bqajna nuzawh daqs li kieku kien favur id-divorzju. Kulhadd ghandu dritt jivvota iva, le u joqghod id-dar. Jien nemmen li ghandi nivvota fuq dak li nemmen (u Ghedthom kemm il-darba il-punti ghala nemmen li ghandi nivvota le) u ghandi nivvota bir-raguni u mhux x'jghid dak u x'jghid l-iehor. Tajjeb li kulhadd jghid tieghu inkluz il-knisja u imbaghad meta tisma l-argumenti kollha biex tara liema tahseb hi l-ahjar triq. L-aktar punt mill-hafna li hemm li minhabba fieh ser nivvota le hu ghax b'mod generali t-tfal ikunu jridu li z-zwieg ma jitkisserx u nemmen li meta jitkisser l-ewwel cans ghandu jkun li tara FIREPROOF wara terga tipprova ghax hafna jkunu li jaghzlu t-triq ta malajr dik tad-divorzju. Naturalment jiddispjacini ghal xi ftit li vera jixirqilhom it-tieni cans li diga sabu u mhux li dawk li ser jergghu jipprovaw. Nemmen li ghal dawn hemm ukoll soluzzjoni minghajr ma ndahhlu l-pjaga tad-divorzju li jaghmel hafna aktar deni milli gid.
avatar
L-analizi tieghi wara dan kolu fuq din hija wahda. Mela. dak li hemm fuq il-video huwa ma jistax jichad minnu. 2. dak il-video jiena qabel qatt ma rajtu izda rajtu wara l-programm li rajt ghall-ewwel darb *affari taghna* allura jekk huwa verament jikkonferma dak li qal f'dak l-intervista, jekk huwa dejjem jemmen f'dak li qal, min jeddhu ghandhu jirrepeti dak li qal jew jichad dak li qal, jekk huwa bniedem hieles sabiex jitkellem dwar kif jahsibha skond il-kuxjenza tieghu, Dejjem jekk ghadhu ta l-itess fehma fuq dak li qal- ghax ahna l-bnedmin mibdlu l-opinjonijiet taghna skond ic-cirkostanzi.
avatar
INSAHHU L-FEHMA LI GHANDNA NIVVUTAW I V A f'dan ir-referendum. Ma nhallu l-hadd jitfaghna lura lejn is-snin 60. Issa c-cans li naghtu taghlima lil Gvern biex ma jibqax jghaffeg fuqna. NIEHDU DAN IC-CANS ISSA GHAX JISTA JIDDISPJACINA 'L QUDDIEM. IVA IVA IVA IVA GHAL MITT DARBA.
avatar
Next general election, political parties and candidates will be able to prohibit their opponents from repeating anything they said or did in the past which might embarrass them.
avatar
Sur Bundy Grazzi talli urejt l-intervista kollha fil programm tieghek ghax b`hekk l poplu Malti u Ghawdxi sema dak kollu li qal l Mons u li bih aktar sahhahli l fehma li ma hinix ser naghmel dnub jekk nivvota IVA . Halluna mela qed tahsbu li ghadna fis sittinijiet jew?
avatar
That's what you expect from Maltese judges! https://mazzun.wordpress.com/2011/05/23/dun-joe-borg-bejrut-brikkun-nazzjonalist/
avatar
Nistghu inkunu nafu minn kienu dawn l-imhalfin, u min appunthom?. Ghallinqas go L-Amerika hu stat ta fatt li l-Partit politiku fil-Gvern jappunta l-Imhallfin skond l-agenda politika tieghu, u dan maghmu fl-apert: hawn Malta ninhbew wara il-bzallu?
avatar
who was/were the judges who took this "decision"?
avatar
Ma jimputax sur qorti, li kellna naraw issa rajnieh. Xorta IVA se nivvota
avatar
U QABEL KIENU JGHIDU GHALL-UNJONI SOVJETIKA U L-PURTIERA TAL-HADID. IPOKRITI. KUNU AFU LI JEKK ID-DIVORZJU MA JIDHOLX ILLUM JIDHOL WARA L-ELEZZJONI LI JMISS, IMMA L-HSARA ENORMI LI SE SSIR LILL-KNISJA TA' MALTA LANQAS GHADKOM MA TAFU.
avatar
PASTAZATA. DEMOKRAZIJA ZERO.