Brussels sources told this website that Robert Abela’s government is raising objections to the adoption of a permanent fund for journalists conducting investigations across member states’ borders. The fund is being set up in the wake of the killing of Daphne Caruana Galizia in Malta. The initiative is part of an EU-wide effort to help journalists do their job of holding power to account.

But the Maltese government is complaining that funding journalists could prejudice their independence. The excuse is particularly rich coming from a government that has happily funded some news organisations through the covid crisis in Malta.

The EU Commission is administering a €1.5 million fund created on the initiative of the European Parliament as one of the actions to be taken at EU level to help journalists investigate corruption and wrongdoing. The fund, which is to be spent over the next year, has been delegated to the International Press Institute.

The European Commission is now seeking to create a permanent fund beyond this first year. The financial assistance would help cross-border journalism teams with funding for journalism projects, their publication and dissemination. The fund includes training, legal and editorial support and networking for investigative journalists.

Investigative journalism is the scourge of corrupt and ineffective governments and in our case has brought about the downfall of Joseph Muscat’s government. But this occurred at the great cost of Daphne Caruana Galizia’s life.