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Clauses for concern

Some voices are instantly recognisable, and that of Anna Bonett is one of them.

Frankly, I was surprised that she was the master of ceremonies for the Partit Laburista's introduction of the EU candidature activities, but only because she is currently heard on another station. Otherwise, she remains one of my favourite broadcasters of all time.

As I recall, she never did this type of work when she was news editor at a particular radio station. Let this illustration of ethics be an example to all, both the rookies and the veterans who still don't want to be politically pigeonholed.

At the beginning of the introductory speech, Ms Bonett welcomed listeners "and viewers" of One media. However, One Television was airing a cookery programme. I only caught the aforesaid MEP programme on Sunday night.

We have been told again and again that "anything may happen during a live programme".

We have had bad words and even blasphemy go on air, parliamentarians caught napping, and members of a studio audience caught picking their noses. Cameramen make it a point to catch these shots because it makes for less boring (and perhaps humiliating) viewing.

However, someone ought to have told one of the cooks this week that he had a gob of what looked suspiciously like polenta, stuck to his right cheek. By now, he must be feeling pretty embarrassed about the whole episode, so I will not name and shame him further.

The people who should be embarrassed, however, are the ones who organise and take part in the lottery broadcast on Wednesdays. They have the annoying habit of repeating ad nauseam that a person lives "ġewwa" somewhere, despite this error having been pointed out 101 times by the Akkademja.

Speaking of numbers, they are still being said badly in Maltese on practically every television and radio station. When will someone look up the proper way to say them and then write them down in words, not figures. Broadcasters, who have yet to devise a way to teach people that it is not "gasket flu" or "ghost cheese", may at least learn to get the numbers in the vernacular right.

The good news this week is that Bicref has won the Accolade Award of Merit for its feature documentary Waves of Life, which was broadcast on TVM some time ago.

The documentary, directed by Bicref founder Adriana Vella and narrated by Clare Agius, was a brilliant piece of work about Maltese and central Mediterranean biodiversity conservation, and competed with entries from all over the world.

The Accolade Awards set the standards for craft and creativity in television, film, and videography.

Meanwhile, Santa Monika has made it to the big screen. Author Frederick Zammit, director Fabian Mizzi, production company Image 2000, and the whole cast and crew have done themselves proud.

As expected, there was a massive turnout for the launch.

One of my favourite local actresses, Sandra Davies, was introduced as a lead character in the film with a mysterious past that was a pivotal part of the plot.

The film is still running in local cinemas and since it stands alone (albeit involving the characters of the television series), even people who have not watched one of the 68 television episodes will be able to enjoy it.

The surprise denouement is conducive to another series - or two.

Preparations are well under way for another opus, Ġensna, which the younger generation has never seen live.

This may be just as well, for I doubt how much the show, in its original format, would have appealed to anyone who was not of a certain mind-set. Indeed, the new improved version is set to be significantly different from the unique-for-its-time oeuvre.

Ġensna in concert will, however, be involving the original author, composer, producer, director and stage designer.

This will bridge the 30-year gap and provide a sense of continuity for those who are chomping at the bit to watch it again.

Gozo Bishop Mario Grech has asked the community of journalists to pull up its socks, literally and figuratively.

During a Mass organised on Tuesday evening at the Catholic Institute in Floriana to mark the feast of St Francis de Sales, this senior member of the Church has felt the need to ask us to be objective in our work, rather than settling for being someone else's mouthpiece.

For that matter, journalists are in the ideal position to sway public opinion, and to misinform.

Fact and comment should not be interwoven so that the public cannot tell where one stops and the other begins, and we must resist the temptation to present our views as the only feasibly correct ones.

His Grace knows full well that there are several ideological constraints, never mind the commercial and practical ones, that hang over some people's heads like Damocles' sword.

Sad is the day when the race for an audience makes us forget our principles and ethics.

television@timesofmalta.com

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