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Throughout this month, following the announcement of the formation of the self-styled Association of Media Owners, I wrote two columns in which I explained this website’s take on the fact that the companies which back the biggest independent news outlets in the country – Allied Newspapers Ltd (Times of Malta), Standard Publications (The Malta Independent), and MediaToday (MaltaToday) – formed an association that is partially made up of propaganda outlets owned by the Labour Party and the Nationalist Party. You can read the first column here, and the second one here.

In the second column I penned about this subject, I publicly announced that I would be sending questions to all three newsrooms to assess their position. Shortly after Times of Malta editor-in-chief Herman Grech sent me his answers to my questions earlier this morning (you can read those answers by clicking here), MaltaToday’s executive editor Kurt Sansone also sent in his responses, which are being reproduced below.

Given that the Malta Independent’s editor has not yet acknowledged my questions, I will wait until next Friday (which is the deadline I’ve set for answers) to share my perspective on what I make of these responses.


1) Can you confirm whether editorial and the journalists who form part of your newsroom were consulted about the respective company’s decision to join the Association of Media Owners before the decision was made?
There was no consultation with the editorial team.
2) Who is your company’s representative on the association’s executive branch and what role do they occupy? How was your representative selected?
You may wish to communicate this question to the company’s management. Editorial has no role in the association.
3) What is your newsroom’s stance on the fact that you are now associated directly with political party propaganda outlets?
From the statement released by the association upon its formation, it is clear this is a trade organisation formed by owners to lobby for their interests. Irrespective of who forms part of this association, the MaltaToday editorial team will continue to perform journalism that is irreverent. Our editorial arm has no, and will have no, association with political party media.
4) For a media company to be able to join your association, it must have at least seven full-time journalists and at least three media workers. What was the reason for this specific criterion?
I suggest you refer this question to the association.
5) If and when your association manages to secure funding from the government, will your newsroom declare how much funding it has received and for what purpose it will be used? If so, how does your newsroom plan on doing so?
First of all, I cannot and will not speak on behalf of the association, because as stated above, the newsroom has no role in the association. However, I trust that if the association does manage to secure funding from government for its members, such information will be made public in the best interest of transparency.

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