Carmel Cacopardo has called on the Broadcasting Authority to issue directives “without delay” that oblige broadcasters to show impartiality as dictated by the Constitutional Court.
The ADPD chairperson wrote to the BA to draw up the directives in line with a court ruling last week that said the obligations of impartiality apply to all broadcast media and not just to public services.
Cacopardo reiterated that political party stations repeatedly ignored ADPD activities and in spite of presenting its case about this on multiple occasions no action has been taken.
“We also expect that those who clamour for impartiality in state broadcasting should lead by example and apply the same principle to those private stations in their control – otherwise their complaints would simply be empty rhetoric,” Cacopardo said.
The court’s reflection was made in an appeals judgment decided last week that confirmed that the Nationalist Party’s rights were breached by the BA and PBS.
Until now, the BA has always interpreted impartiality on a national basis, taking into account the fact that different political parties own their own stations and thus not requiring impartiality to be upheld in the individual private stations. The rules for the public broadcaster are different and the station has an obligation to be balanced and impartial.