Raphael Vassallo has written a very interesting blog about TVM’s 50th anniversary programme which tried to wipe out a large chunk of the station’s history and left so many of the national station’s former employees out in the cold.
While I agree completely with his analysis, what I also found to be significant was that the list of those who were left out or snubbed does not only include those who will forever be associated with the 16 years of the Labour administration. If that were the case then the omissions can easily be explained away as being politically-motivated (although needless to say, this does not make it right). As if to preclude any accusations of bias, we had Ray Azzopardi being given a tour of the premises, but (with all due respect to him) this was so obviously a deliberate stage-managed attempt to stem any criticism that it was laughable.
So many people were left out (irrespective of their politics) that it would probably be easier to list those who were actually invited. I have received countless private messages from former and current TVM personnel who contributed many years of their lives to the national station, pointing that they are more baffled than offended. Many are questioning just who exactly drew up this list of people because what we were shown was a hotchpotch of a programme which simply did not do justice to the historical significance of the occasion. If PBS really wished to pay tribute to all those who contributed to the station but found there were simply too many to include in one programme, the solution was simple. They could have produced a week long series of programmes in which the history of broadcasting in Malta would have been traced properly and objectively, with its up and its downs, warts and all.
And what about the people brought in from abroad who helped to shape the national station? A rudimentary search brought up this insightful recollection written by Ian Waugh.
Instead what we ended up with was this programme which seemed to have been slapped together in a tearing hurry with the main aim being to get everyone to say how great the new renovated building is (inaugurated that evening by the PM) compared to how derelict it had become.
I think the renovation was long overdue (and if I heard correctly was finished in about six months), but let us not forget who allowed the place to go to rot in the first place.
As the very uncomfortable TVM technical crew who have been there for many decades, squirmed in front of the camera, it became clear that they did not wish to be interviewed. Watching how the programme unfolded, I really cannot say I blame them.
Meanwhile, I wonder what next great event will, kumbinazzjoni, fall on a Friday?