The Malta Independent 24 June 2018, Sunday

Broadcasting Authority finds PBS should have reported whistleblower’s testimony

Friday, 19 May 2017, 17:47 Last update: about 2 years ago

The Broadcasting Authority has found in favour of the PN's complaint, that PBS failed to report the testimony of the Egrant whistleblower in a court case.

The whistle-blower had delivered her version of the facts in a court case regarding payment for work for Pilatus Bank. The PN argued that this "news was reported prominently by all newsrooms in the country except by the PL media, and the national station."

The PN referred to the PBS bulletins, "where there was clear evidence of a lack of good judgement on what constitutes the value of news."

"The Authority negated the PBS defence, so much so that it said that the Authority said 'the moment that the person in question chose to be a whistleblower in the Egrant case, she entered political controversy, and to a certain extent renounced to her private live and became the subject of public interest.' As such, her testimony in court in this case is important and had news value."

The PN said they also won a second case. The second case, the PN said, regarded reportage of the University debate. "PBS quoted the Prime Minister when he put words in the mouth of Simon Busuttil," the PN said. "Even here, the Authority stressed the need for reports to be precise and correct for the benefit of those people watching or listening."

The PN was represented by Matthew Bonnet.

 PBS response

In response, PBS defended itself by saying that since the beginning of the electoral campaign, the PN filed six complaints, four of which were found to be invalid by the BA.

PBS also noted that in the two complaints, the authority found no unbalance and gave no remedy. 

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