Although PBS had failed to report comments by Finance Minister Edward Scicluna on the citizenship scheme in Brussels, there was no imbalance, the Broadcasting Authority concluded yesterday.

On December 5, Prof. Scicluna had raised eyebrows when he described the citizenship scheme as “a mistake” and lamented the lack of “people of calibre” in the Maltese workforce during an address to a European Parliament committee.

The BA decided on the matter after the Nationalist Party filed a complaint earlier this month.

The PN had accused the PBS of not reporting the information during an evening news bulletin so as not to “embarrass the government”.

In its judgement, the BA said that while the PBS was wrong for not reporting the issue, it had editorial freedom on such matters.

It did, however, point out that this freedom was limited and that the PBS had clearly erred by not initially reporting the issue.

It turned out that the PBS had later reported the matter on December 8 during a TVM 8pm news bulletin.

Ultimately, the BA said it would not be penalising the PBS for its shortcomings.

The PN and the PBS gave contrasting views of the decision.

In a statement, the PN said the authority had slapped the PBS on the wrist for not meeting its obligations. Meanwhile, the PBS said the BA had not upheld the PN complaints. It insisted that it remained committed to providing an impartial service.

On Tuesday, PN general secretary Chris Said did not rule out calling for a review of the BA complaints board after it had postponed a decision on the matter.

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