Thirty years ago, Maltese Parliament passed a law they knew contradicted the Constitution. Back then, the Opposition leader had warned the Broadcasting Act would one day be challenged in court. It took 30 years, but he was right.
Today, we officially filed our case with the courts.
Specifically we are arguing against a proviso passed in 1991 that allows the Broadcasting Authority to close an eye to political party stations when it comes to the Constitutional obligation for broadcasters to be as impartial as possible.
Our actions have been criticised as a PR stunt, an attack on free speech, and an attempt to shut down competing media houses. In reality, this is a highly impactful form of crowdfunded journalistic action that we should celebrate and encourage. We identified a long-standing problem discussed by our society for decades, we explained it to the public in a simple and effective way, we raised money to fix things and now we are bringing the matter to the competent authorities to decide.
Should Maltese TV be obliged to tell the truth and be as fair as possible to all sides of the political spectrum?
Or should our stations continue to be as propagandistic and manipulative as they like?
Let’s see what the court has to say. Besides this important decision, it’s worth noting what an empowering act this unprecedented court action is for journalism in general. As someone who has been in the profession for 15 years, I know how difficult it is to get to the bottom of stories, to get answers to our questions, and to bring about real change on the issues that matter. Being able to take our journalistic efforts to a courtroom and have the political parties, the Broadcasting Authority and other key figures forced to respond to our legitimate questions is a really important step in our democracy, no matter the outcome.
So a huge thanks to everybody who helped make this happen. It is people like you who take our society forward. Never stop believing that change is possible and that it starts with each one of us taking action in good faith.
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