The government has recognised the existence of a fourth pillar of democracy and proceeded to piss on it

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2022-09-28T15:42:15+02:00Wed, 28th Sep '22, 15:42|

The justice minister published three bills, including a constitutional amendment, presented as reforms to protect media freedom and the journalists doing the work. Jonathan Attard said the reforms are the government’s reaction to recommendations by the public inquiry into the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia. The government took up the PN’s proposal from last year, [...]

Events marking 5 years since Daphne’s assassination announced

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2022-09-29T05:44:03+02:00Wed, 28th Sep '22, 13:06|

Repubblika, #occupyjustice and this website announced today the program of events marking the fifth anniversary of the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia. The calendar of events is as follows: From Saturday 8th October 2022: An exhibition with the theme ‘Daphne Eroj Maltija’ will be set-up outside Valletta’s City Gate. On Wednesday 12th October 2022: A [...]

Daphne’s parents support call for open consultation on press reform

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2022-09-28T13:04:15+02:00Wed, 28th Sep '22, 13:04|

Late this morning the government announced that within one hour the Justice Minister will be delivering a “press conference on Bills for the strengthening of protection and freedom of the media”. The announcement after the government ignored a letter signed by over a hundred journalists, academics, and free speech campaigners calling for public consultation. We’ll [...]

Acquired silence

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2022-09-28T09:28:39+02:00Wed, 28th Sep '22, 09:28|

I don’t know who to blame for a bunch of young people deciding they’d rather stay home than speak at a mock Parliament on a controversial subject. Seen from the outside the youth parliament is one of those yearly depressing rituals meant to reassure us that democracy is functioning, and inter-generational dialogue is a thing. [...]

How retired One TV anchors saved the planet from climate catastrophe

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2022-09-27T16:00:06+02:00Tue, 27th Sep '22, 16:00|

Not one, but two government ministers took time out of their busy schedules to speak about what truly matters: how the planet must be saved with ‘sustainable projects’. Julia Farrugia Portelli and Miriam Dalli said the government was putting your money where its mouth is and supporting voluntary organisations in their effort to realise the [...]

So, what does the Chamber of Advocates think now?

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2022-09-26T10:39:08+02:00Mon, 26th Sep '22, 10:39|

In June 2020 this website and The Shift News got a royal bashing from the Chamber of Advocates. It was over reporting and commentary on the two sites about Aron Mifsud Bonnici. The Chamber issued a statement of support for Mifsud Bonnici “condemning without reservation” the two websites and proceeding to advise what a “serious [...]

THE SUNDAY TIMES: The ominous silence

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2022-09-25T08:33:49+02:00Sun, 25th Sep '22, 08:33|

From my article in The Sunday Times today: Photo: The Sunday Times/Matthew Mirabelli "There are thickly veiled signs that the government is readying itself to publish a legislative package that they present as the implementation of the inquiry recommendations to guarantee press freedom. The prime minister will, like he has before now, present [...]

Insecurity minister

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2022-09-26T10:46:09+02:00Sun, 25th Sep '22, 08:26|

Byron Camilleri did a Joe Giglio on Andrew Azzopardi’s show yesterday. “Repubblika?” he scoffed, fiddling with his tie like Oliver Hardy in a sticky situation. “They’re just an extremist faction of the PN.” Presumably without hearing him, Mark Said writing today in Times of Malta and The Malta Independent, presents Byron Camilleri with a response. [...]

Subsiwotsit

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2022-09-23T14:30:14+02:00Fri, 23rd Sep '22, 14:30|

I first started getting properly interested in domestic politics after the 1992 elections. There were two political strands that intrigued me. The first was the government’s plan to secure Malta’s membership in the EU. There was a frenzy of excitement that the EU’s enlargement was imminent. Indeed, it turned out to be with four countries [...]

LONG READ: The business of journalism

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2022-09-23T07:54:18+02:00Fri, 23rd Sep '22, 07:54|

Publishing is a business, albeit a shrinking one. Advertising is a business, though its fundamentals are shifting rapidly. Public relations is a business, its future as undoubted as hairdressing and funeral homes. Journalism is not a business. The moment it becomes one it stops being journalism and it becomes publishing, advertising, or public relations. This [...]

Journalists and free speech campaigners tell PM to open press reforms for public consultation

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2022-09-22T14:57:14+02:00Thu, 22nd Sep '22, 14:57|

A group of over 100 journalists, academics, activists, and artists concerned with free speech have written today to Prime Minister Robert Abela urging him to publish the advice he received from the group of experts he appointed in January to advise him on laws to protect free speech. The signatories of the letter include editors [...]

Uniformity

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2022-09-20T12:38:58+02:00Tue, 20th Sep '22, 09:58|

There has been so much praise for Queen Elizabeth II that one more eulogy is not going to add anything to what you’ve already heard many times. Take recognition of her spectacular work ethic, her diplomatic charisma, and her rare smile in an ocean of frowns, as given. She was all that. None of that [...]

Seb Tanti Burlò: A recusal refusal

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2022-09-19T08:57:18+02:00Mon, 19th Sep '22, 08:57|

Look at the cartoonist's tweet on his work in today's Times of Malta. A recusal refusal This week's @TheTimesofMalta #cartoon When lawyers are promoted to the bench, not for their legal minds but because of family contacts and governmental friends, nobody can expect to receive a fair hearing. #Justice in #Malta is held to ransom. [...]

The uphill struggle for truth

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2022-09-19T08:36:45+02:00Mon, 19th Sep '22, 08:36|

Another battle for information is underway this time fought by Times of Malta to acquire a copy of a report Enemalta commissioned to understand why it had paid three times the price for a Montenegro windfarm than the vendor had paid just two weeks earlier. The transaction is nonsensical in and of itself, independently of [...]

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