[WATCH] Bernard Grech says national broadcaster should be independent of government

Opposition leader Bernard Grech claims unfair and biased reporting by the national broadcaster is leading to misinformation and fake news 

PN leader Bernard Grech outside the offices of the Broadcasting Authority
PN leader Bernard Grech outside the offices of the Broadcasting Authority

 The Nationalist Party leader Bernard Grech said the time has come for the national broadcaster to be independent of government.

“The time has come for the broadcaster to no longer remain under a government department and to not fall under a minister’s remit,” he said. 

Grech was speaking outside the Broadcasting Authority offices in Hamrun on Friday, after a meeting with officials. 

Addressing the media, he said the PBS should no longer be a government arm and carry out its function as an important institution. 

Castille should relinquish control over PBS. Grech added that the government was going to such extents as employing people to control its editorial line.

“The national broadcaster has not only failed to report certain news items but reported them incorrectly,” he said. “The Maltese public deserves impartial and proper reporting.”

Grech mentioned a number of cases in which he felt the PN was not given the appropriate coverage on its statements. 

“We saw it when Chris Fearne lied about free IVF medication. PN statements on the case were not covered during the evening bulletin,” he said. “Then it emerged that the PN was actually right.”

He also slammed a letter issued by PBS, informing producers they must submit the topic and individuals they planned to interview 14 days prior to the programme being aired. 

“This, conditions journalists, and it is not acceptable,” he said.