Malta | Freedom House

Freedom of the Press

Malta

Malta

Freedom of the Press 2004

2004 Scores

Press Status

Free

Press Freedom Score
(0 = best, 100 = worst)

15

Political Environment
(0 = best, 40 = worst)

5

Economic Environment
(0 = best, 30 = worst)

8

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.