The 12 Principles: A new code is proposed for freedom of expression and the role of media in good governance across the Commonwealth
April 10, 2018 – 4:10 pm | No Comment

In 2013 member states of the Commonwealth acknowledged the ‘surge in popular demand for democracy and human rights’ when they adopted the Commonwealth Charter in the name of the people of the Commonwealth. The Charter …

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Malcolm Naudi: Comment on murder of Maltese blogger
October 20, 2017 – 12:18 pm | No Comment
Author: Malcolm Naudi 
A former Chair of the Institute of Maltese Journalists (chaired the Institute for 14 years consecutively from 2001 to 2014). Former Deputy Editor of the Sunday Times of Malta.

Daphne Caruana Galiza. – Pic Reuters.

The brutal murder of the Maltese journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, killed by a bomb planted in her car, caused shock around the world, not just among the journalism fraternity but also in political circles, especially around EuropeWikileaks founder Julian Assange offered a €20,000 reward for information leading to the conviction of her murderer.

Daphne had a mighty pen. She wrote flowing, well-structured prose that bit to the bone. Frighteningly frank, she was not afraid to get personal on her subjects. She tested the boundaries of the Press Law, going beyond what many would tolerate, and faced countless actions for libel by politicians and individuals who felt offended.

 She was adored by many, but hated and feared in equal measure. She revealed so much that would otherwise never have seen the light of day – and in consummate detail. Face to face, she was soft-spoken and almost shy. She was three years younger than me and grew up in the same street as my wife, who remembers going to feed tortoises and hedgehogs in the garden of her house.

I edited her work when I was Acting Editor of the Sunday Times of Malta early in her career. I distinctly remember when I had to remove a piece in which she commented on a matter that was sub judice. I was also in her sights when I was chair of the Institute of Maltese Journalists for certain positions taken by the Institute that she did not agree with. Apart from her Running Commentary blog, which she started in 2008, she had two columns a week in the daily and Sunday editions of the Malta Independent newspaper, apart from editing a glossy magazine, Taste & Flair.

Daphne had a formidable network of informers and was the local journalist who, single-handedly:

  • released the local data from the Panama Papers, accusing then Energy Minister (today the Minister for Tourism) and the Prime Minister’s Chief of Staff of holding secret companies in Panama and trusts in New Zealand;
  • made allegations that the Economy Minister visited a brothel outside Duesseldorf with an aide while on an official visit to Germany;
  • cited a whistleblower who claimed that the Prime Minister’s wife was the ultimate beneficiary of a Panama Papers company; and
  • was a vocal critic of the opposition party leadership candidate, who went on to become the party leader, for what she alleged was his involvement in a “prostitution racket” in London and holding a bank account in Jersey in which the funds from the “racket” were deposited.

Hers is the first assassination of a journalist in Malta. She certainly had a highly influential blog (that invited readers to add their comments) and is credited with singlehandedly “convincing” the Prime Minister to go to the country last June, more than a year before the end of his five-year term. In 2017 she was listed by Politico magazine as the only Maltese among 28 Europeans “who are shaping and shaking and stirring Europe”.

The duty magistrate, who went on site after the bombing to initiate an inquiry, recused herself from the case after Daphne’s family filed a court application claiming she had a “flagrant conflict of interest”. The magistrate who has been appointed to conduct the inquiry, Anthony Vella, is said to be highly competent in this area.

Malta and journalism will never be the same again. There have been incidents of journalists being manhandled or threatened, but we have never seen anything like this. It looks like a Mafia-style contract killing, intended to silence the journalist definitively.

Big Media ‘must do more’ to protect journalists
February 9, 2016 – 10:50 pm | No Comment
Big Media ‘must do more’ to protect journalists

By William Horsley
The big guns of the world’s media have found themselves at fault. At UNESCO’s Paris headquarters on 5 February, 200 senior media managers, editors and journalists from around the world, whose everyday job …

Middle East background prompts thriller
December 3, 2015 – 10:43 am | No Comment
Middle East background prompts thriller

Long-standing BBC editor Ian Richardson has exploited his wide experience of broadcasting and the Middle East to write his first novel, The Mortal Maze.
A thriller, the book takes in terrorism, espionage, corruption, love and betrayal,
Ian …

Real progress in Modi’s India .. or just hype?
May 22, 2015 – 9:47 am | No Comment
Real progress in Modi’s India .. or just hype?

Narendra Modi became Prime Minister of India a year ago after inflicting a crushing electoral defeat on the Congress party and its allies. His victory reflected a broad-based desire for change and economic growth, driven …

Richard West: journalist and author who chronicled the last days of Empire
May 18, 2015 – 7:52 pm | No Comment
Richard West: journalist and author who chronicled the last days of Empire

Soon after the quintessentially English journalist Richard West married the quintessentially Irish journalist Mary Kenny in 1974, he visited South Africa during the build-up to the Soweto uprising and the final days of …

Professor Faber: An obituary
April 9, 2015 – 3:52 pm | No Comment
Professor Faber: An obituary

Trevor Grundy on the life of the economist and adviser to the Zambian govt whose negotiations on mineral rights saved that country a fortune in 1964
Born August 12, 1929
Died February 26, 2015 aged 85
Historians examining …

Bangladeshi brothers building on a great tradition
January 5, 2015 – 11:13 am | No Comment
Bangladeshi brothers building on a great tradition

For more than 200 years the British ruled in India. On their departure in 1947, they left many legacies in which culinary tradition played very little part. Back on British soil however, a …

‘Myths and realities’ around Mandela examined at London seminar
November 21, 2014 – 11:04 am | No Comment
‘Myths and realities’ around Mandela examined at London seminar

Nelson Mandela’s membership of the South African Communist Party  will be one of the main topics up for discussion in London on December 5 when the Institute of Commonwealth Studies hosts a one- …

Do they know it’s Christmas in Muslim West Africa?
November 19, 2014 – 12:00 pm | No Comment
Do they know it’s Christmas in Muslim West Africa?

CJA member TREVOR GRUNDY reports on the latest version of Bob Geldof’s Band Aid campaign in the fight against ebola.
Children in Britain think it’s a Christmas Carol like ‘Silent Night’ or ‘God Rest Ye Merry …

How safe is it to be a journalist in Pakistan?
August 7, 2014 – 3:30 pm | No Comment
How safe is it to be a journalist in Pakistan?

CJA member Ragasudha Vinjamuri reports on a discussion on the state of the media in Pakistan and how journalists are under increasing threat from militants.
Read her report here AV_CJA (2).
The discussion was held at the University …

How Glasgow proved itself a worthy host
August 3, 2014 – 10:34 pm | No Comment
How Glasgow proved itself a worthy host

A personal view of the success of the Commonwealth Games, by ALINE DOBBIE
Sitting waiting on a gloriously hot evening in Glasgow for the Opening Ceremony of the Commonwealth Games was an interesting experience.  I am …