PN: New TVM head of news should be chosen through public call

Nationalist spokesperson Graham Bencini says under Nationalist administrations TVM head of news was chosen through public call

TVM news studio (Photo: TVM)
TVM news studio (Photo: TVM)

A public call for TVM head of news should be issued to ensure a journalistically competent and politically independent person is selected for this crucial role, the Nationalist Party has said.

“The selection committee should consist of competent individuals in journalism and media, who also respect those working in these two fields,” the PN said.

The statement follows Norma Saliba’s announcement she has resigned from head of news at the national TV station, citing a “deceitful character assassination campaign” against her as reason for the decision.

The PN said the issuance of this public call aligns with proposals being presented in the European Union through the Media Freedom Act, which were announced by Minister Owen Bonnici. “During the time of past Nationalist governments, there were instances where public calls were issued to fill this role.”

“In the past, there have been numerous cases where journalistic standards, particularly on the PBS digital platform, were not up to the expected level of journalistic integrity. Additionally, there were many cases where the National Broadcasting was accused of bias in favour of the government when reporting certain news,” spokesperson Graham Bencini said.

He said such bias manipulates the audience of Malta’s biggest TV station.

“This bias and political interference has also been confirmed by our courts and various international reports, which criticize the political interference in the editorial content of the National Broadcasting, contributing to our country's worst position ever on the Corruption Perception Index,” he said.

“Therefore, to ensure that we truly have an independent National Broadcasting, instead of appointing someone with political ties to fill the role of Head of News, a public call should be issued for applications. The selected candidate should be genuinely independent, and the application process should be transparent, allowing the chosen individual to work independently.”