PN considering legal action over PBS reforms to have dedicated news channel

PN rails against PBS plan to create TVM News+, slated to replace TVM 2

Minister Carmelo Abela announcing the TVM station revamp on Friday
Minister Carmelo Abela announcing the TVM station revamp on Friday

The Nationalist Party said on Saturday that it is considering legal avenues to prevent state broadcaster TVM from being hijacked by the governing Labour Party after the launch of a new television station at the end of September, TVM News+, which is slated to replace TVM 2.

TVM News+ is to broadcast news on a more frequent basis, as well as sports, documentaries, discussion, and cultural programs, while the mainstay station, TVM, is to become PBS’ entertainment channel.

The PN, however, is crying foul over the reshuffle in that will see news and current affairs programs being taken off TVM during in an election year

The party said in a statement on Saturday, “The Nationalist Party, which has never been consulted on this issue, notes this development with concern. The Nationalist Party does not trust the PBS leadership to act fairly and autonomously.

“TVM has repeatedly been found guilty of failing to honour its obligations of impartiality. Instead of resigning after the condemned inquiry, Minister Carmelo Abela seems intent on further eroding another institution, while ensuring more impunity.”

Since Robert Abela became Prime Minister, the PN noted, TVM dropped its most popular program, Xarabank, without an explanation. Several journalists left the station, the PN said, because they felt they could not work freely.

“While Labour Party officials are given disproportionate broadcast time amid news and entertainment programs, it has become increasingly difficult for the Opposition to be reported on TVM, even when TVM is ordered to do so by the Broadcasting Authority.

“In light of this the PN will be considering all options, including legal action, to prevent PBS from being further hijacked by the Labour Government.

ALSO SEE: PBS announces new station TVM News+