Qrajt dan l-aħħar artiklu miktub mir-reverendu Joe Borg biex juri kif mhux veru li l-midja hekk imsejħa indipendenti – f’dal-kas tal-Knisja – jieħdu direzzjoni partiġjana, indirizzata l-aktar kontra l-Partit Laburista. Il-metodu użat minn Borg bilfors iqanqallek tbissima bis-sofiżmi inġenwi li jippreżenta.

Prattikament jistrieħ fuq kemm drabi partiti/gvernijiet tax-xellug u tal-lemin jingħataw rapportaġġ, anke mqabbla ma’ kemm tingħata l-istess Knisja. Dal-mod “pożitivista” kif jitkejlu l-affarijiet jikkomforta t-teżi tar-reverendu Borg li l-radjo u l-midja tal-Knisja Kattolika huma oġġettivi. Imma hu argument fażull…ħalli ma ngħidx falz.

Biex wieħed ikejjel xi jkun għaddej tassew, irid jifli l-kriterji ta’ kif jintgħażlu l-aħbarijiet u jiġu rapportati. Għat-tajjeb jew għall-ħażin, jista’ jkun hemm ħafna stejjer dwar dan jew l-ieħor. Biss, jekk jekk bi ħsieb, jintgħażlu l-aktar stejjer li juru dannu, statistika dwar kemm qed jissemma Ċikku jew Peppu ma tipprova xejn dwar l-oġġettività tad-direzzjoni editorjali.

L-artiklu ta’ Borg saħħaħli r-riżervi tiegħi dwar l-“indipendenza” tal-“midja indipendenti”, inklużi tal-Knisja.

***

ĦAŻ-ŻABBAR

Kien ili ftit ma nżuru. Fl-imgħoddi kont ta’ spiss ngħaddi hemm, għal xi qadja jew oħra, inkella għal xi ħidma politika u soċjali.

Ġimgħa ilu sibt li għadha għaddejja l-ħajja vibranti li niftakar fil-każini politiċi, soċjali, sportivi u kulturali. Inzerta Ħadd kważi tar-rebbiegħa. Kullimkien iltqajt ma’ irġiel u nisa li qed jirrekrejaw ruħhom fil-kwiet madwar imwejjed mgħobbija bl-ikel li daż-żmien sirna nsejħulu “tas-swaba” (finger food). F’post minnhom saħansitra kienu qed iservu gambli mill-kbar, dawk li bl-Ingliż isejħulhom “tar-re”.

F’Ħaż-Żabbar fejn erġajt iltqajt mal-ħabib antik tiegħi Freddie Portelli (l-eks ministru mhux il-kantant), in-nies taf kif tkun serja u kif tirrekrea ruħha. Għalhekk hu gost speċjali li żżur il-post.

***

L-GĦOLI TAL-ĦAJJA F’MALTA

Skont l-aħħar statistika maħruġa mill-Eurostat, l-għoli tal-ħajja f’Malta hu anqas sew mill-medja tal-inflazzjoni fl-Unjoni Ewropea. Dan hu riżultat sorprendenti. F’Malta għaddejjin b’rata ta’ tkabbir ekonomiku li tissupera sew dik tal-bqija tal-pajjiżi fl-Ewropa. Għaliex allura, jidher li l-prezzijiet mhumiex jogħlew, kif dejjem jiġri f’ċirkostanzi hekk?

Dwar ħafna oqsma, meta tiflihom mill-qrib, tifhem għaliex. Jekk barra, l-pressjoni tal-inflazzjoni għadha baxxa – u hekk hi – u Malta dejjem saret aktar timporta l-bżonnijiet tagħha, bilfors li l-pressjoni fuq il-prezzijiet tkun lejn ’l isfel.

Dan l-argument ma jgħoddx fil-kas tal-prezz tal-kirjiet. L-ilmenti dwarhom splodew fl-aħħar xhur. Madankollu, anke hawn l-indiċi tal-prezzijiet juri li ċ-ċaqliqa ’l fuq prattikament ma teżistix. Forsi li l-indiċi għadu qed jitmexxa skont riċerka miksuba qabel seħħet il-bidla radikali fis-suq tal-kirjiet residenzjali?

English Version – Once again… the independent media

I read a recent article written by the Rev Joe Borg, that was meant to show how it is not true that the so-called “independent media” – in his case the Church’s – adopt a partisan approach that is mainly anti-Labour in scope. The method used by Borg to make his point cannot but make one smile at its ingenious sophisms.

In practice, it is based on the number of stories that parties or governments from left or right are reported on, even in comparison with the coverages that the Church itself is accorded. This “positivist” method by which to measure outcomes supports the thesis laid out by Rev. Borg that the Church’s radio and associated media are non-partisan in their coverage. The argument is clearly specious… let me not say false.

For if one is to bring a measure to media occurences, one has to examine the criteria by which news items get selected and reported. For better or for worse, many stories could be featured about this or that topic. However, if intentionally, the stories that get chosen for publication are the ones that could most create upsets, data about how frequently Ċikku or Peppu do get a mention, is completely irrelevant as a proof of the objectivity of a given editorial stance.

Effectively, Borg’s contribution only served to reinforce my reservations about the “independence” of the “independent media” including those of the Catholic church.

***

Żabbar

It had been a while since I last visited the place. In the past I used to be there quite often, on an errand perhaps, more frequently to attend some political or social event.

A week ago I discovered that the vibrant activity which I remember taking place in the political, social, sporting and cultural clubs is still proceeding. The weather on the Sunday I was there felt almost like spring. Everywhere I went I met men and women relaxing goodhumouredly, seated around tables loaded with what we now call finger food. At one venue, they were actually being served king prawns with their beer.

At Zabbar where I also met my old friend Freddie Portelli (the ex-minister not the singer) people know how to work hard and how to relax. Which is why a visit there can be such a pleasant experience.

***

Price increases in Malta

According to the latest data published by Eurostat, price rises in Malta have been well below the average for inflation in the EU. The result is surprising. We are continuing to experience economic growth rates that are well above those of European countries. Why is it then that prices are not rising, as always happens in comparable circumstances?

In many sectors, on closer examination, one can understand why. If abroad, inflationary pressures are still down – which is the case – and Malta’s needs have increasingly been met through imports, the tug on prices will inevitably be towards a reduction.

However the argument does not hold for rents. Complaints about them have exploded in recent months. Even here though, the price index shows that for all practical purposes, there has not been any upward movement. Could it be that the price index still reflects research results obtained well before the radical change in the residential rental market happened?