The Malta Independent 18 April 2024, Thursday
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Updated: AD protests unfair treatment from PBS and 'Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe'

Joanna Demarco Monday, 29 May 2017, 14:32 Last update: about 8 years ago

 Alternattiva Demokratika (AD) this morning protested unfair treatment from both the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) and the Broadcasting Authority (BA), calling the latter the 'Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe.

In a news conference outside the PBS building, led by AD Chairperson Professor Arnold Cassola, the party protested about being censored and left out of debates and programs in the past few weeks.

"With the new chairperson taking up the post a few weeks ago, the BA has reached the pits of political servilism to the PL and PN," Dr Cassola said. "It has scrapped all of the three debates in which AD was involved with PN and PL, it has recommended that Xarabank leaves out AD from the two debates where the leaders were involved," he protested.


"AD had a lot to say, if only it was invited," added AD candidate Ralph Cassar. "The PN and PL do not want to be in a debate with AD, and of course, the Broadcasting Authority, which should serve as an institutional watchdog, is anything but."

He went on to say that it has also "objected to an AD candidate appearing for ten minutes on 'Skjetti'," adding that that members from other parties could not make it so AD were not allowed on the program.  

"It has not enforced the directive that AD candidates should appear on NET and ONE TV stations in political debates. All this while the candidates on the PN and PL lists are given 24 hour exposure daily on these stations, and they even take the Broadcasting Authority for a ride, by pretending to  be guests rather than presenting the programme themselves, which they do in reality"

"The Broadcasting Authority are well on the way to becoming Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe," he said.

The party also protested that the Broadcasting Authority "find no problem for the national broadcaster to air snippets lifted from NET and ONE to be aired on PBS news".

Turning towards party media ONE and NET, Mr Cassar informed the press that NET and ONE have a legal obligation to represent what AD and others have to say in the election. "AD on these stations is conspicuous by its absence. The law is broken and nothing happens," he said.

The party members held posters of an individual with tape around her mouth. The poster read "The Broadcasting Authority, appointed half to PL and half to PN. It has decided to leave AD out of their debates.Censorship. Is it possible that ideas are so scary?"

Broadcasting Authority Denies Allegations

In a statement, the Broadcasting Authority denied allegations of censorship and unfair treatment levelled against it by AD.

"The Authority considers this attack unjust, and uncalled for, and insists that the protest is based on unfounded accusations," they said in a press release.

"The Broadcasting Authority reiterates that the time allotted to AD in its scheme of political broadcasts is in line with its regulations, and takes into account the prevalent circumstances."

With regards to the Xarabank and Skjetti claims, the BA said that they "rebut" such claims and emphasize the fact that "it did not put forward any recommendation or objection in its regard". 



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