2017-10-16 Bidnija, Malta / Journalism was her Life / Journalismus war ihr Leben / Jornalismo era sua Vida / El periodismo era su Vida

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Fairness, objectivity and honesty matter. Good journalists push themselves to dig deeper and ask tough questions. They put personal feelings aside to unearth the truth. Courage is vital. They are not satisfied making phone calls from a comfortable desk. Their assignments carry considerable risks.

In recent years, journalists have suffered injuries from land mines, car bombs and helicopter crashes. They have been beaten by gangs, kidnapped by terrorists and jailed by repressive governments. When militants attacked a Nairobi mall, you could spot a journalist in the crowd because he was the only one running toward the gunfire.

They are in Iraq and Afghanistan, covering the violence and instability wrought by decades of war. They are in Venezuela and Yemen, reporting on how corruption and conflict have led to mass starvation. They are in Myanmar and China, eluding government monitors to investigate the systematic persecution of the Rohingya and Uighurs.

Over the last few years something has dramatically changed. Around the World, a relentless campaign is targeting journalists because of their fundamental role. To stop journalists from exposing uncomfortable truths, a growing number of governments have engaged in overt, violent, efforts to discredit their work and intimidate them into silence.

The hard work of journalism has long carried risks, especially in countries without democratic safeguards. But what is different today is that these brutal crackdowns are being passively accepted and perhaps even tacitly encouraged.

This is a worldwide assault on journalists and journalism. But even more important, it is an assault on the public’s right to know, on core democratic values, on the concept of truth itself. The free press is foundational to a healthy democracy and arguably the most important tool we have as citizens.

She focused on investigative reporting into government corruption, nepotism, patronage, allegations of money laundering, links between Malta’s online gambling industry and organised crime, Malta’s citizenship-by-investment scheme, and payments from the government of Azerbaijan.

Main access to her investigations was through her personal blog ‘Running Commentary’, which she set up in 2008. Her blog consisted of investigative reporting and commentary, some of which was regarded as personal attacks on individuals. In 2016 and 2017, she revealed controversial and sensitive information along with allegations relating to a number of Maltese politicians and the Panama Papers scandal.

There are crooks everywhere you look now. The situation is desperate.

On 16 October 2017, Caruana Galizia was assassinated in a car bomb attack close to her home, attracting widespread local and international reactions. In December 2017, three men were arrested. In April 2018, a consortium of 45 international journalists published ‘The Daphne Project’, a collaboration to complete her investigative work.

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