Last month, the Center for Media, Data and Society (CMDS), published a study assessing the editorial independence of the world’s state media. Malta’s national broadcaster, the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), was classified by the report’s authors as ‘state-controlled media’- the most concerning categorisation of the report’s seven-tier spectrum.
The report’s author and CMDS Director, Marius Dragomir, explained that the team used three key sets of criteria: funding, control of management and governance structures, and editorial independence to determine PBS’ level of independence. “PBS has been indebted for years and hence has accessed an increasing amount of funding from the government, which ticked the funding box. In terms of ownership and governance, PBS is a government-owned company with a board nominated by the government, which ticked the second box. Finally, data and research collected during the past year have shown that the editorial coverage is controlled by the government. With all three boxes ticked, PBS qualified for the “state-controlled” category.”
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