PN will keep its radio and TV stations after all

Xtra on TVM News Plus | Nationalist Party Secretary-general Michael Piccinino says party cannot afford to close down its stations as long as public broadcasting is not impartial

PN Secretary-general Michael Piccinino (Photo: James Bianchi/MaltaToday)
PN Secretary-general Michael Piccinino (Photo: James Bianchi/MaltaToday)

The Nationalist Party will keep its radio and TV stations despite being mired in debt but they will be restructured, Secretary-general Michael Piccinino said.

In a situation where there is no guarantee of impartiality by the public television station, he insisted, “a political party has to have its own means to relay its message”.

But Piccinino said the PN is committed to restructure its media and make them commercially viable.

Ever since PN leader Bernard Grech confirmed that the party had more than €30 million in debt and was losing thousands every month from its media companies, speculation has been rife that the party may shut down its radio or TV stations to save money.

But Piccinino’s remarks in an interview on TVM News Plus’ Xtra on Monday night are the first from a high-ranking PN official to shut down speculation that the party will close its media arm.

The PN secretary-general said the support Grech got over the weekend from PN councillors to continue running the party will enable him to carry out internal changes.

“The PN has a challenge to reform internally so that the structure can then support the party’s political work. We have the clusters, which will continue developing policy and as an Opposition we have to be constructive in our criticism and show people that we can do better,” Piccinino said.

A political party has a duty to dialogue continuously with society, he added, clarifying that this does not mean it should not have its principles.

On corruption, Piccinino said that the fact people are turned off by any discourse on corruption shows to what extent this has been normalised. “Corruption has to be addressed but as a party, we have to speak about the impact of corruption on bread and butter issues,” he said.