The Malta Independent is right to raise the alert here about TVM ignoring the European Banking Authority’s statement that the FIAU allowed Malta’s financial system to serve crime. The fact that TVM went on to report the FIAU’s puerile reply is just the sort of idiotic bias we expect.

But though we expect this sort of behaviour does not mean it can go unremarked.

Our national TV every day betrays a huge chunk of the population that rely on it alone to provide them with information about the reality they cannot be personally present in.

It is sad but no less true for that that many, many people continue to depend on TVM to give them a window to the world. Some of that is due to their own cultural limitations. They likely understand no language but Maltese and then only if communicated in spoken form and accompanied with pictures. Do not underestimate how many people would not be able to read what you’re reading now if they wanted to. Or any other English language communication for that matter. And add to those the many who have never read anything apart from the shopping list they scribbled earlier, and then again with difficulty.

The problem is compounded by a terrible dearth of alternatives. People who are genuinely thirsty for truth would intuitively avoid news sources owned by political parties. They think of the state as an authority above partisanship and they think of the national TV station as a neutral and therefore credible source.

This is why the partisan propagandists like Reno Bugeja are comfortable with the sort of irresponsibly selective information they provide. People who judge them against objective and direct news sources are not relying on TVM for information anyway. You know about the EBA report because whether TVM report on it or not you have access to sources that have told you about it. There’s nothing Reno Bugeja can do about that.

But he can do something about those readers who depend on him to know about the EBA report. He can hide it from them and they’ll be none the wiser. Nor will they know anyone is complaining about it because he won’t tell them anyone is.

This is why TVM is regulated by a constitutional body. And yet the Broadcasting Authority too can’t seem to be arsed to get out of bed these days. The PN no longer files complaints with the Broadcasting Authority for these persistent failures of TVM to honour its obligation to provide information on all matters of national importance even ones that, oh God, embarrass the government.

Why the PN would quit this is hard to imagine. One would have to hope it has nothing to do with anyone’s interest in being in TVM’s good books and I don’t mean political interest when I say that.