Public Service Media (PSM)'s Managing Director Ali Khalid, on Tuesday, revealed that the state media had given opposition Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) airtime worth MVR 3.1 million, free of charge.
According to an interview given to local media Mihaaru, Khalid stated that PSM covered PPM's press conferences and party rallies while failing to provide equal opportunities for other parties.
Moreover, Khalid said that PSM broadcasted political events of PPM under the guise of covering former President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom's appearances. "Presidential election activities are not official activities, right?"
While PSM is mandated to be an independent, unbiased institution, PSM's former deputy Managing Director Mohamed Ikram had notably participated in PPM's rallies and actively took part in political activities.
Following his recent appointment, Khalid stated that he intended to establish the state broadcasting company as an independent institution and to regain the trust of citizens.
Khalid assured that there is no external influence on himself, adding that President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has extended his guarantee that PSM will operate free from any undue influence.
Noting that different people require different information, Khalid stated that airtime will be split into different categories such as political, entertainment and sports.
Khalid was previously appointed to the position of Chief Communication Officer at the President’s Office by Former President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom. He had also served as the CEO of Television Maldives, then-state media channel, from 2006 until 2008. In addition, he had served as the Chairman of Waste Management Corporation Limited (WAMCO) during President Yameen's tenure.