PN presents formal complaint against PBS

MP Clyde Pull files complaint against national broadcaster for failing to report former prime minister Alfred Sant’s call on Konrad Mizzi to resign • PBS denies allegations that it is witholding information from the public

Opposition MP Clyde Puli and general elections candidate Caroline Galea
Opposition MP Clyde Puli and general elections candidate Caroline Galea

PN spokesperson for the rights of citizens Clyde Pull has filed a formal complaint against PBS for their failure to report former prime minister Alfred Sant’s comments urging energy minister Konrad Mizzi to resign.

Speaking in a press conference held in front of the PBS in Gwardamangia, Puli said that the national broadcaster seemed to be bent on hiding certain news rather than reporting the truth and presenting a full picture of important events, even when they have international significance as in the Panama Papers leak.

This week, former Labour prime minister Alfred Sant said that Mizzi should do the “honourable thing” and resign in a Facebook post, but Puli pointed out, PBS had failed to report the story despite it being the topic of much discussion on other news portals.

Puli pointed out that the National TV station had a duty to present an unbiased picture and allow people to access all information and form their own opinions.

In an attack against the newsroom’s head of news. Reno Bugeja, Puli said that the news portal had become a propaganda tool for the government.

“It is clearly no longer interested in reporting critical and unbiased information, “ he said.

Flanked by general elections candidate Caroline Galea, Puli listed a number of times PBS had failed to report important developments, including the revelations made in the Panama papers, subsequent  internal disagreements of the Labour Party, and the latest  omissions of the comments made by Sant on his Facebook page as well as education minister Evarist Bartolo’s comments after a press conference yesterday, where he said that he would have "taken Sant's advice and resigned," if he were in Mizzi's position.

 Galea also pointed out that Bugeja had the duty to read out the PN's roght of reply about the Panama Papers after he chose to invite Mizzi to his programme Dissett. She added that some time later, the station's programme TVAM also chose not to discuss the important matter, but rather, it chose to discuss the PN's Cedoli 2016 loan scheme.

PBS denies allegations of witholding information from the public

PBS CEO Anton Attard has defended the TV station and denied allegations leveled by the PN that the newsroom is withholding information from the public.

“PBS’s editorial line and standards are based on impartiality, which is what gives the newsroom added credibility, and the latest survey by the Broadcasting Authority reveals confirms this,” Attard said, making reference to the fact that the TV station and its news bulletin, has experienced a surge in viewership, with audiences of over 100,000 people.

Attard added that the newsroom would refer the PN’s complaints to the Broadcasting Authority, the regulator that verifies whether the newsroom was in fact impartial and consistent. He further insisted that PBS had in fact given the Panama Papers case “extensive coverage”.