Charles Dalli, who has just taken on the role of editor at the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) has an employment history that includes a seven-year-stint with Labour Party media company One Productions Ltd, according to his own LinkedIn profile.
Dalli, who, according to media reports on Sunday, has taken the editorship role over from that of former One TV reporter Norma Saliba, spent between 1999 and 2006 working as Head of Engineering and Technical Services with the Labour Party’s media arm.
Dalli’s past employment link to the Labour Party is significant when taking into consideration the growing concern about the independence of the public broadcaster.
Besides the frequent concerns raised by pressure groups and the Opposition on the matter, such criticism was also backed by an international study by the Centre for Media, Data and Society, who, in September 2021, classified PBS as “state-controlled media”.
In 2020, even before Saliba was appointed editor, a report by the Centre for Media Pluralism and Media Freedom had also classified Malta as a “high risk” country on media pluralism, highlighting worrisome results in areas such as political independence, media funding and editorial autonomy.
One glance at Dalli’s LinkedIn profile also raises questions about his journalistic experience.
An engineer by profession, Dalli’s LinkedIn profile details how, between 2013 till today, he has taken on the position as Technical Director and Executive Producer at the broadcasting of various events such as the EU2017 Malta Presidency, the Malta 2017 summit and the Junior Eurovision Song Contest.
Apart from these, Dalli joined PBS in November 2013. Since then, he’s climbed from Engineering Manager to Operations Manager in February 2016, to Deputy CEO in August 2016, to Acting CEO, and eventually, CEO in June 2018.
Meanwhile, Norma Saliba has retained her role as head of news.