Spanish minister accuses Catalan TV of ‘propaganda'

December 21 election coverage was most neutral, according to independent advisory body

The Spanish defence minister, María Dolores de Cospedal
The Spanish defence minister, María Dolores de Cospedal / ACN

ACN | Barcelona

February 8, 2018 01:40 PM

The Spanish Minister of Defence, María Dolores de Cospedal, has accused the public Catalan television channel, TV3, of being “propagandistic and manipulative.” If the application of Article 155, used to strip Catalonia of its self-rule, were to be extended, she said the function of the channel would have to be discussed. However, an independent report found that TV3 covered last year's election in a neutral way compared to other channels.

“For an immense majority of the citizens of Catalonia, and the rest of Spain, TV3 has ceased to be a means of social communication and become a means of political propaganda and manipulation,” she said on Thursday in an interview with the Spanish newspaper ‘OK Diario.’

Since the application of Article 155, that entailed the sacking of the Catalan government, the country has “had a government more dedicated to working for Catalans,” she also said. Catalan public television cannot be “an apparatus of political propaganda of certain partisan interests,” she went on to say.

Neutral news

However, an independent advisory body found that both TV3 and Catalunya Ràdio (Catalonia's public radio broadcaster) covered the December 21 election, called by the Spanish government, in the most equal way.  By analyzing 140 hours of the media coverage from December 5 to December 9 of various Catalan and Spanish media outlets, the Audiovisual Council of Catalonia concluded that TV3 and Catalunya Ràdio had the “biggest” diversity with regard to the airtime given each political party.