How media (bullies) democracy

The Times of Malta, that bastion of media balance, is in a very boastful mood.

An eventful start to 2012 saw over 1.6 million visitors browse timesofmalta.com in the first 10 days of the year – unprecedented figures for a Maltese website.

That figure jumps five-fold, to just over 8.5 million, when one measures the number of page views by users.

News of New Year’s mysterious fatal stabbings gripped readers from day one of 2012, withover 168,000 flocking to timesofmalta.com to read about developments as they occurred.

It seems that all politicians bend over backwards (an interesting trick if you can do it) to gain column inches (and therefore alleged public kudos)  in The Times of Malta. Failing that they are paranoid of this paper to the point of running for the hills.

It seems to the untrained eye to go something like this – If The Times says “jump” certain politicians (fearful of being scorned or worse still ignored) respond with a quivering “how high?”

In a way it mirrors the revolting situation with print media in the UK where party leaders live or die by what The Sun (and Murdoch’s office) says.

Equally (without naming names) there appears to be a certain broadcaster in Malta who feels he/she is bigger and more important than the station, the audience or the show. His/her programme is seen on state television and political figures seem terrified of it.

Quite frankly, in my view, people should not really fear this guy/guyette(!) because he/she doesn’t remain within the broadcasters common code so he/she has very little going for him/her in the ‘ethics department’. The fact he/she, in my view, appears biased on and off air even when he/she is on contract to present television programmes to the nation will be his/her eventual professional downfall. After all there is always the Broadcasting Act, the law courts and even the state broadcaster who is editorially responsible. But the burning question is whether this doyen of Maltese broadcasting has grown bigger than even the the station who uses his/her services?

Broadcasters who feel they have the right to expose themselves politically or bully public figures when the red light goes off then are extremely stupid. They lack any professional etiquette and are professionally irresponsible.

Its simple (and its something we all have to do) – whilst on contract, you are entering people’s homes so do the job and politically shut up.

(P.s.: please excuse my annoying tongue in cheek ‘him/her’, ‘his/her’ references here – just an overzealous way of remaining unbiased, balanced and yes you guessed it …. a paranoid blogger 🙂  )

Ian Waugh