Roberta Metsola Criticizes 'Dangerous' Broadcasting Authority Directive in Malta

Maltese broadcasting authority directive restricts reporting on EU Parliament president Metsola, sparking outrage over press freedom and political interference.

Nimrah Khatoon
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Roberta Metsola Criticizes 'Dangerous' Broadcasting Authority Directive in Malta

Roberta Metsola Criticizes 'Dangerous' Broadcasting Authority Directive in Malta

Roberta Metsola, the President of the European Parliament, has strongly criticized a directive issued by the Broadcasting Authority (BA) in Malta that urges caution in reporting on the European Parliament and its president. Metsola called the directive "dangerous", "wrong", "inexplicable", and "damaging to Malta's right to information".

The BA's directive instructs broadcasters to focus on the "news value" and "current and topical" nature of any reports related to the European Parliament and Metsola. This is seen by many as a threat and warning to media outlets to avoid reporting on Metsola and her work, as the BA is perceived to be acting on behalf of the Labour Party in Malta, which views Metsola as a threat to their political interests.

Why this matters: The directive is being denounced as an undemocratic attempt to restrict press freedom and the public's right to be informed in Malta. It raises concerns about political interference in media reporting and draws parallels to past tactics used to suppress coverage of political opponents.

Metsola expressed her disappointment that this happened in Malta, saying "The people of Malta and Gozo should not be denied the same right to information as anyone else in Europe." The European Parliament Office in Malta has requested the immediate suspension of the directive.

The Nationalist Party (PN) in Malta, of which Metsola is the lead candidate for the upcoming June elections, has also slammed the BA's decision as "censorship". They accuse the BA of censoring Metsola "simply because she is a threat to the Labour Party in the upcoming elections" and not applying the same measures to the government and its ministers.

The BA has denied claims that it is trying to silence Metsola, stating that the directive "allows reporting on current and important themes to be carried out." However, the PN has called for the BA to immediately withdraw the controversial directive, describing the "censoring" of the European Parliament and its president as "anti-democratic" and a disgrace.

Key Takeaways

  • Metsola criticizes Maltese BA directive restricting reporting on EU Parliament
  • BA directive seen as threat to press freedom and public's right to information
  • Nationalist Party accuses BA of censoring Metsola due to political threat
  • BA denies trying to silence Metsola, but PN calls directive "anti-democratic"
  • EU Parliament office requests immediate suspension of the controversial directive