Section 41 of the constitution guarantees freedom of speech and of the press. Malta is a member of the Council of Europe, and Maltese media laws are based on European law. In July, the Broadcasting Authority fined an independent television station for broadcasting an interview with a European Parliament candidate whose statements allegedly incited racial hatred. Malta's newspapers and broadcast stations have strong political affiliations.
Not surprisingly, a survey by the Broadcasting Authority showed that Maltese audiences perceive local television and radio news as politically biased, frequently taking less notice of nonpolitical events. There are several newspapers and weeklies, available in both Maltese and English. The Maltese have access to Italian television and radio broadcasts, and nearly one third of Malta's citizens watch Italian networks. The government does not block Internet access.