Having broken one of the golden rules in good journalism the The Sunday Times is today being accused of being biased in its reporting on the issue of abortion. This accusation was made by Paul Chetcuti, a Jesuit. In a letter he wrote to the Sunday Times, he told this newspapers that he is disappointed that space is not being given to the massive pro-life promoters.
On reading his letter to the editor, the ruling handed down by Magistrate Rachel Montebello on December 28, 2020, came to my mind. In this ruling, magistrate Montebello recommended that only the established media should be commenting on the case of Yorgen Fenech.
I am reproducing below the letter sent to the editor by Paul Chetcuti. The letter refers to the current ongoing abortion debate in Malta. Chetcuti opines that The Sunday Times (and I think that he had also the Times of Malta in mind) are not being fair in their reporting. He accuses them of being biased in favour of those adamant of wanting abortion to be introduced in Malta, even if, they are not in a majority. I shall not enter into the abortion debate here. This is not the reason for this short article.
I happen to be one of those who has long been criticizing both the Sunday Times of Malta and Times of Malta for not being fair in their reporting. Finally, even conservatives are upholding my views that this once leading newspaper is not reporting fairly. Instead, in brief, it follows preset agendas.
In this context, how practical is the judgment handed down by Magistrate Montebello, when she decreed that only media houses should broadcast and comment on the case of Yorgen Fenech? Though not specifically identifying each and every media house there can be no doubt that Allied Newspapers was one of those Rachel Montebello had in mind. So faced with this clear accusation of biased reporting from one of our leading youth workers, how can such a decree be effective?