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NEWS | Sunday, 27 January 2008

‘Independent’ election website run by One TV presenter

David Darmanin

A newly launched election website, claiming to be independent and already accused of PN bias, has turned out to be registered under none other than a One Television talk show presenter.
The portal www.elezzjoni2008.com was promoted last week as “an independent website which will be leading the local electorate to the 2008 general elections”, with a disclaimer that it has no political agenda and promising to cover every party’s campaign.
But hours after it was put online, website visitors were already voicing their scepticism about the portal’s impartiality.
“Independent my ass,” one user wrote, “this site is pro-PN”.
The website gives no information about who is running it, but this newspaper found out that it is registered under Quinton Scerri, the young presenter of One TV’s STR8 2D POINT.
When contacted, Scerri said that he was not surprised by the claim of bias in the comments section.
“As hard as one may try to show impartiality, in Malta you are bound to be labelled of having partisan allegiances in anything you do, especially during such a heated time as the run up to elections,” Scerri said. “The aim of the site is to update locals with latest updates of the electoral campaign of each political party in Malta.”
So far, the web portal – that will be officially launched tomorrow – gives balanced updates and information from Labour, Nationalist and Green camps, including regular updates, video clips, press reports and past election statistics.
Scerri said the website is run by an internet communications company in which he is involved.
“The website has been funded by iCommunications, and it has involved people from different sectors including the media and politics,” Scerri said. “Some of the team members have provided their services against payment while some others are volunteers.”
The portal’s colour scheme itself attempts to portray a lack of political affiliation in a bid to blend red, green and blue… perhaps at the cost of aesthetics.



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27 January 2008

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