One TV chairman Jason Micallef opposes scrapping political party media

Jason Micallef says ONE TV has a defined political agenda but the station could not be branded a propaganda channel

ONE TV Executive Chairman Jason Micallef
ONE TV Executive Chairman Jason Micallef

ONE TV Executive Chairman Jason Micallef hit out at the Nationalist Party's proposal to abolish political party media.

The PN proposed a sweeping reform in Malta's media landscape calling for the abolition of party-owned stations NET TV and ONE TV in a document published at the party's extraordinary general conference on Republic Day. 

Micallef told MaltaToday that such a reform was reflected in the PN's bad administration of its own media. He defended the party media atmosphere in the country and said that ONE TV was not a propagandist channel.

"ONE TV has a defined political agenda. That doesn't make it a propaganda channel," he said.

Asked about the PN's proposal to turn the Public Broadcasting Service into a fully independent public broadcaster, Micallef said that it was not for him to decide.

ONE TV enjoys a strong following and a modest success rating. Conversely, NET TV has staggered and its radio branch NET FM has been eclipsed by Radju Marija in the most recent audience ratings. According to a Broadcasting Authority survey from last March, NET TV has an audience share of 7.9%, its lowest result since October 2017, compared to the ONE TV audience share of 18.4%. 

Commenting on the PN's proposal to do away with party media, Micallef said that the media house he was chairman of would not support its opponent channel in its financial struggles.

"ONE TV will not support NET TV’s failures in the audience market over many years nor its apparent financial struggles to carry on with NET TV in the coming months. God forbid if we were to help solving NET TV’s existing problems self-inflicted over the years through bad administration and wrong decisions," he said.

In the policy document published by the PN, the party said that public broadcasting should be fully independent and should aim to inform, educate and entertain all strata of society. "It must ensure that everyone’s viewpoints are broadcast in a balanced, whole and free manner, with no obstruction and in full respect to the fundamental rights of expression and association."

MaltaToday asked PN Secretary General Clyde Puli for an explanation of this proposal but Puli was unresponsive.