The annual budget for the Public Broadcasting Services is the equivalent of 2021’s yearly increase in salaries and wages paid by the Office of the Prime Minister. According to the last Budget, the payroll of the Office of the Prime Minister increased from €12.5million to €18.5million from 2020 to 2021 – a 6 million Euros increase in one year alone. For 2022, the salaries and wages budget for the OPM is €21 million. The yearly budget for PBS is around €6 million.
On the other hand, the Public Broadcasting Services doesn’t need to be propped up with a lot of money to serve as a propaganda machine. The previous editor and current head of news at PBS is a previous ONE newscaster and Labour propagandist, Norma Saliba, who was married to another Labour propagandist, Manuel Micallef. Norma Saliba has been replaced as editor but retained her role as head of news in PBS’ newsroom after making it blatantly obvious she was copying and pasting the scripts sent to her by the OPM and ONE. She didn’t even bother doing any editing showing us how hard at work she really was while following her goals. Take a look at the screenshots posted below which show how the arrest of Keith Schembri was reported on the 20th of March: they both have identical headlines omitting Keith Schembri’s name. Everyone knew that it was Keith Schembri being dragged to court, but PBS and ONE omitted his name in the reportage intentionally.
Mark Sammut, a trusted Party hack and PBS’ new executive chairman is now entrusted to bring some semblance of normality in PBS, but the situation can never be normal when PBS is in direct control of the Prime Minister and is blatantly used as his propaganda tool. Robert thinks he can convince us he will be playing fair in the next elections by playing musical chairs in PBS and bringing some neutrality to the broadcaster. Had Robert really wanted to reform PBS he would have started by doing the obvious and hiving off PBS into a separate ministry instead of keeping it directly under his control. Robert is delusional enough to think he can fool people with his infantile games but it’s going to be very difficult to find someone who will play Robert Abela’s game of appearances since most of the willing propagandists are already known to be propagandists or bażużli. Charles Dalli, the new editor at PBS, is not an editor. He’s another Party hack and previous ONE employee who will serve as a temporary replacement to Norma’s editorial role while Robert figures out who he is going to choose for the role.
And this is also why we will never become a normal country under this infantile idiot prince. Public funds and institutions are not there to be used as tools for the Prime Minister. The Public Broadcaster deserves a proper reform, significant budgets to produce quality educational and critical content and a structured long-term commercial plan. As of now, PBS remains a propaganda tool and a cesspit of rent-seekers making money off our backs.
In any case, cultural and educational content are not in the interest of the Prime Minister. Let’s blow six million Euros on a troll farm instead.