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Freedom of the Press - Malta (2004)

Publisher Freedom House
Publication Date 28 April 2004
Cite as Freedom House, Freedom of the Press - Malta (2004), 28 April 2004, available at: [accessed 1 June 2016]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

Status: Free
Legal Environment: 2
Political Influences: 5
Economic Pressures: 8
Total Score: 15

Population: n/a
GNI/capita: n/a
Life Expectancy: 77
Religious Groups: Roman Catholic (98 percent), other [including Muslim, Jewish, and Protestant] (2 percent)
Ethnic Groups: Maltese [mixed Arab, Norman, Spanish, Italian, and English]
Capital: Valletta

As Malta is a member of the Council of Europe, media laws are based on European law. The 1996 Press Act protects freedom of the press, while the 1991 Broadcasting Act permits private commercial broadcasting. Following the enactment of the 1991 Act, broadcasting licenses were granted to the two major political parties and the Catholic Church, but other privately run radio stations and several TV channels have followed. However, many newspapers and broadcast outlets have strong political affiliations. A survey by the Broadcasting Authority showed that Maltese audiences perceive local television and radio news bulletins as politically biased, with excessive political content at the expense of nonpolitical local and international events. Three major weeklies and two dailies appear in both Maltese and English. Italian television and radio also reach Malta and are popular in the country. Locally, in addition to the public TV station, there are Super One TV, owned by the Malta Labor Party, and Net TV, owned by the Nationalist Party.

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