Award-winning journalists are not journalists in Malta

Caroline Muscat, founder of The Shift News, and an experienced journalist, was denied a press access card to the Republic Day events unless she applied for a national government press card.

That’s bullshit.

Muscat holds an international press card. She is an internationally accredited and award-winning journalist who has never been refused entry to any event in any country. 

She is the recipient of several awards in journalism. Earlier this year she was awarded the coveted Press Freedom Award for Independence. She was also the recipient of the Pimentel Fonseca 2018 (Italy) journalism prize.

It’s logical that a person cannot win an international award in journalism unless he or she is a journalist.

Muscat is also frequently asked to speak at international journalism conferences, events and festivals.

Since the Labour Party came into power in 2013, Malta’s press freedom ranking has plummeted a staggering 32 places, ranked 45 in 2013 to 77 in 2019. The detention of journalists in Castille by Labour Party thugs will surely lead to a further decline in next year’s report.

A Council of Europe report on Malta said that the arbitrary use of administrative measures such as registration and accreditation schemes for journalists, bloggers, internet users, and foreign correspondents in order to harass journalists and other media actors or to frustrate their ability to contribute effectively to public debate had a chilling effect on journalism.

A war of attrition is being waged by the Maltese government against media that holds power to account without fear or favour. It has got to the point where a journalist was assassinated with help from the state.

A war against the media is a war against democracy.

Stand up and be counted.

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