Broadcasting Authority issues divorce referendum programme directives

Radio and TV stations have until noon of 7 April, 2011 to submit for approval a detailed schedule of programmes and advertisements dealing with “divorce, marriage or family matters” for the period 11 April to 28 May 2011.

The Broadcasting Authority has issued a directive that will cover all broadcasting of programmes and advertising pertaining to the issue of divorce in the run up to referendum day on 28 May.

The directive, which comes into force as from next Monday (Monday 11 April), will cover any instance of broadcasting, including all programmes, including news updates and bulletins and any information slots and advertisements.

The directive calls on broadcasters to provide “a detailed schedule of programmes and advertisements for the Authority’s approval.

“Following the Authority’s approval of the said programme schedule, no changes may be made by a broadcasting station to the said schedule except with the prior approval of the Authority and following a written detailed request by a broadcasting station to that effect,” the directive also reads.

Until such approval as is obtained, “no programme or advertisement which has as a theme divorce, marriage or family matters may be broadcast by a broadcasting station. Nor may any such programme or advertisement encourage people to vote in a particular way in the referendum,” the directive says.

The directive adds: “Where the broadcasting station intends to produce current affairs programmes, discussion programmes, investigative journalism programmes and programmes of a similar nature during the aforesaid period, it shall forward the subject of that programme and details of the participants in that  programme together with details of the presenter and producer to the Authority for its approval.”

“Care should be taken to ensure that all programmes and all advertisements are free of material, which could be interpreted as favouring or giving undue exposure to any interest group, or which might be reasonably considered as being directed towards a political end.”

“Although every station is duty bound to respect impartiality regulations when dealing with any aspect of a political, industrial controversy or current public policy,” the Authority emphasised that “the absolute requisite that any programmes dealing with divorce, marriage, the family and related topics should be rigorously balanced in the views/opinions that they present.”

In the same communiqué, the BA also issued directives regulating opinion polls that broadcasters tend to carry out from time to time during election and referendum campaigns.

Keith Goodlip
Now, as the Broadcasting Authority is a part of the PN dictatorship, I'm sure we will see a certain amount of bias in favour of the said conspiracy.
The BA may control broadcasting but it doesn't control the Church, distribution of leaflets etc. The broadcasting law must be amended because everyone remembers Eddie Fenech Adami's barefaced lie on Dr Alfred Sant on the eve of the general election when Dr Sant couldn't answer because of this stupid law. As if people have not made up their minds a long time before the general election or the referendum how they are going to vote.
Who will control the propaganda in the Churches and make sure it is balanced?