Laws for gods and animals, it’s a never-ending cycle
Beyond the fact that most people are absolutely exhausted from knowing more about the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia, despite its importance to us as a nation, the post-investigation reaction to me has been to ignore the complexity of independence, freedom and freedom of the media.
Let’s say I have said over and over again that the role of the state and its top officials in covering up the assassination, misleading both the executive and the press, is unforgivable. Their malice in killing someone who has exposed the intricate link between a corrupt political elite and business will mean the day will come when Joseph Muscat’s “legacy” will be erased forever. Nothing can erase the wickedness that has crossed the minds of those whose intention to commit corruption, hide it and then orchestrate murder, has been carefully covered up by an ambitious political agenda.
That in itself should be enough to anoint Caruana Galizia like a heroine.
So why don’t so many other people share this vision of Daphne? This is often something that needs to be explained to those who stumbled upon this tragedy without any sense of the story and why Caruana Galizia was actually not appreciated for other things she wrote. Those who supported her never admitted that her blunt style and the way Labor supporters in general were blindly attacked was wrong. With its mix of gossip and deliberate personal commentary and unproven speculation, Caruana Galizia’s scattergun approach has been looked down upon by many. At least for those who didn’t like what she wrote (unless the revelations which had actually exposed the corruption), the journalist was seen as someone who liked to incite the disparagement of Labor voters, associates, often d ‘in a way that dehumanized these people. Much of what she wrote was considered unforgivable by the hundreds of targets whose “crime” was often simply being associated with the Labor Party or its representatives. And when the arguments run out, she could easily poke fun at physical attributes, alleged sexual prowess, and other human flaws.
Are these people to blame for his murder? I think it would be unfair to say so.
Certainly enough, she was unorthodox in her approach to journalism – more often than not, she preferred to be completely separated from the media edifice, despite the structures and despising the blue-collar workers of the profession (in her short stint as associate editor at Freelance before 1996, she did not always do well in writing); she was also jealous of her work, loathing censorship by editors or altering her columns. Some things she chose not to write about: the 2013 oil scandal should have been water in its mill, but alas, it was aimed at the wrong party …
The point is, nothing can change what Daphne’s murder means, that corrupt business and politics have teamed up with a criminal mafia to dismiss the member of the press who at the time pinpointed treason. Labor. As this newspaper’s editorial noted last week, it is a horrible irony that we are now talking about the future of journalism at the expense of Daphne’s life itself.
Certainly enough, no committee or working group will understand what the future holds for us for journalism other than those who work in the field and or those who raise funds and capital to pay for its operation. As Maltese journalists with a very precarious future ahead of us, threatened in part by poorly paid digital media and the changing habits of our audiences – and not necessarily because of media ‘freedom’ per se – we need the full engagement of all media involved in future reforms.
My advice to those who will speak to us, from government luminaries to PN #never more committee representative Emma Portelli Bonnici, is that “never again” must surely be applied in the same way to everyone.
The new surprise that a new ferry service to Augusta was blocked by rival and dominant ferry service Virtu was revealing.
Virtu has cherished its monopoly position for decades now, controlling high prices and making millions in profits every year. Competition is essential to bring down prices, and as such it is healthy in the case of our maritime link with Sicily.
Virtu boss Francis ‘Cikku’ Portelli thinks otherwise. Cikku objected to Ponte’s offer to use Augusta as a ferry landing stage, blocking it at the eleventh hour with Virtu’s own offer for the port. Such timing! I’m sure the smartest of us can smell a rat here: why is Virtu, already based in Pozzallo, looking for Augusta as a port? and which port in Sicily would really be prepared to refuse more sea traffic from Malta?
So check this out.
Two weeks ago, MaltaToday published a front page article on the Enematla oil scandal in which it was recalled that Virtu director Cikku Portelli was still operating freely despite accusations of money laundering he made. face in connection with the oil scandal.
Sunday morning at 7:30 am, I receive a message, accusing me of acting on behalf of the Zammit Tabona family (one of the main shareholders of Ponte), immediately calling me “zibel” (garbage). I responded and didn’t mince my words, telling this Portelli family member what he needed to know and how a few years ago, while reporting on a bond issue from Virtu Finance , whose prospectus referred to the ongoing criminal charges against Portelli, all advertising of Virtu was immediately stopped at MaltaToday.
Well, I told the Portelli family member that “my name is not Ivan Camilleri” and that I do not choose which stories are covered in MaltaToday. Even when this newspaper had stories about the development of Zammit Tabona’s Fortina or their company Captain Morgan, this newspaper did not hesitate to write about them, or take an editorial stance and worry about losing advertising revenue. .
Yet those who preach about good journalism have willingly written only on one side of the story. Those who claim to be the pillars of true journalism are giving in to financial interests and political prejudices. The standard on how to report who is accused of money laundering in Malta, seems to depend on whether you are a pleb or have blue blood. God knows if yours truly had faced a charge of fraud, theft, or money laundering: that would be curtains for this newspaper.
For others, it is total opposition. They run their five star hotels, open up new ferry services, invest in retail, real estate and oil bunkering … the list never ends when class is on your side. Take a look at all those accused of the 2013 oil scandal: they are still going strong! The gods continue to smile!
How can I know?
How could anyone have the right to send, without a hint of dignified shyness, an SMS at 7:30 in the morning calling you a mercenary and garbage? Well … times are good for the privileged of this land.