Impunity persists on journalist’s murder
Over a year after one of Malta’s most prominent journalists, Daphne Caruana Galizia, was assassinated there is still no indication of who commissioned the murder, as the government continues to refuse national and international calls for an independent public inquiry into whether her death could have been prevented.The government’s reluctance comes in an increasingly hostile environment for independent journalists in Malta receiving threats for their reporting on corruption, and increasingly isolated in a compromised media landscape.
Most of the media in the country is directly owned and controlled by political parties, as analysis also shows the State broadcaster’s bias towards the government is to the extent that major corruption stories go unreported. In addition, the independent media in the country is increasingly dependent on massive expenditure by the government on advertising, which leads to control of information and the push of pro-government agendas.
Investigative reporting is lacking, save for a handful of journalists working against the current, who are increasingly exposed to threats as a result of partisan division and loyalties. MPs and members of government openly attempt to discredit independent journalists while actively silencing any calls from civil society for justice for Daphne Caruana Galizia.
The Prime Minister continues to pursue a libel case against the dead journalist more than a year after her death under his watch, laying down a condition in court to drop the case if her family discredited her work, which her heirs refused. SLAPPs (strategic lawsuits against public participation) remain a problem in the country as the government refused a Bill by the Opposition to protect journalists in Malta from financially crippling lawsuits abroad.
65 in 2018
27.44 in 2018