Journalists ask to be included in talks about their future

Earlier this week, a group of journalists and other people interested in the future of journalism in Malta sent a letter to the Institute for Journalists (IGM). In this letter they asked to be included in the ongoing discussions between the IGM and the government which may affect their future.

I don’t claim to speak on behalf of any of the 40+ people that signed the letter addressed to Matthew Xuereb, President of the IGM. But since I added my name to the list of signatories, I wanted to explain why I did so. In a nutshell, it’s because I’m interested in making journalism in Malta better.

What’s this letter about?

I’m attaching a copy of the full letter below. As a brief summary, it’s signed by a group of people who are concerned about being left out of the ongoing discussions about legislative, administrative, and policy reforms in Maltese journalism that may affect their future. Since journalists don’t have any special powers and are simply representatives of the general public, these discussions also affect all the citizens of Malta. So the group of people who signed the letter also want anyone that’s interested in contributing to also be allowed to do so.

I wish I could tell you more about what the reform process entails and how it’s going. But I can’t. And that’s entirely the whole point of the letter.

The opportunity

I want all this secrecy surrounding this process to be removed. This process will only work if people interested in journalism contribute, debate, and discuss the future of journalism in Malta. Forgive me for being sceptical and wanting to see what the government’s plans for my future are, just months after the Maltese state was found responsible for the murder of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia.

If we work together, we have the opportunity to offer a better service to the public. An opportunity to ask the government to be transparent. An opportunity to better hold each other accountable for the pieces that we publish. And an opportunity to learn from all the events that led up to Daphne’s assassination and its aftermath.

But so far there have been no opportunities. Only meetings held behind closed doors.

As the letter concludes, if this journalistic reform isn’t transparent, I will have no choice but to distance myself from it.