The Malta Independent 3 March 2024, Sunday
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Updated: ‘Shameful’ that PBS did not report Malta’s fall in transparency index – PN

Thursday, 2 February 2023, 08:18 Last update: about 2 years ago

The Nationalist Party said it is shameful that the national station, PBS, did not report the publication of a Corruption Perception Index by Transparency International which found that Malta has registered its worst score ever.

The PN sent a letter of complaint to the Broadcasting Authority on the matter, signed by its spokesman for public broadcasting Graham Bencini.

In the letter, the PN said that all major news outlets gave prominence to the report, but PBS did not inform its viewers and listeners about it.

The Transparency International report showed that Malta dropped a few rankings on the Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) from last year. The CPI ranks 180 countries and territories by their perceived levels of public sector corruption on a scale of zero (highly corrupt) to 100 (very clean).

The 51 score is the worst ever result for Malta. Malta was rated as the 54th country, with only four European Union countries achieving a worse rating.

"Malta (score of 51),” the report said “continues its downward CPI trend. Recommendations from the public inquiry into the assassination of investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia are yet to be implemented in legislation, with continued concerns for media freedom and political interference in public media and for the fight against organised crime. A state of impunity persists with no convictions in cases of high-level corruption. Greater independence and resourcing of the Maltese justice system is needed to uphold the rule of law."

The PN said that the failure by PBS to report the publication of the CPI is a confirmation that there is political interference in the running of the station. The PN said this breaches the PBS’ duties of reporting what is of public interest, and shows that the national station is not being impartial in its coverage of political news. PBS’s action is one of the reasons why Malta’s result in the CPI was so poor, the PN said.

The Broadcasting Authority has the duty to take action on this, the PN said, urging the BA to ensure that PBS gives coverage to Transparency International’s report.

After the letter of complaint, PBS published a terse report about the CPI statement on its website, giving bare details on Malta's classification.

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