Updated: Broadcasting Authority raps Lou Bondi' - PBS to take BA to court
Updated - Adds PBS reaction - TV presenter Lou Bondi has been rapped by the Broadcasting Authority for “lack of impartiality” during a recent programme which pitted PN deputy leader Simon Busuttil against PL deputy leader Toni Abela.
“The Authority decided to uphold Labour’s complaint regarding (the presenter’s) wrong attitude and lack of impartiality towards the Labour Party’s representative,” the broadcasting watchdog concluded after its investigation into the Bondiplus episode of January 10.
It added that the presenter should “shoulder responsibility” for the way his programme is conducted and must ensure that he does not enter into arguments with his guests, as he did.
The BA, which heard from Labour and Mr Bondi before reaching its conclusions, also criticised Mr Bondi for the clips shown during the programme.
“The Authority noted that all the clips were aimed in one direction: to put Labour’s deputy leader into a difficult position and show only one part of the whole subject being discussed.”
The BA added that the law clearly states that audiovisual material, including clips and features, should reflect in a balanced way the beliefs of all the parties concerned.
In a reaction, PBS said it would immediately institute court proceedings against the Authority.
The broadcaster said that it felt that the BA, as constituted, breached the Constitution and the principles of natural justice because PBS was not given a fair hearing in the cases instituted against it.
It pointed out that some members of the Authority were systematically and openly showing antagonism against PBS. This had also happened during the hearing.
PBS noted that it already had a pending court case about this matter and it had presented documents showing that some members of the BA publicly expressed political bias as well as a bias against particular journalists.
Some members of the Broadcasting Authority, who were in a position to judge others on matters of balance, were themselves showing imbalance in public.
“Therefore PBS feels that the Authority is not only observing the requirements of the Constitution, but it is actually breaching it,” PBS said.