“The GIG Malta Marathon was cancelled due to bad weather, but The Shift News still needs you so we’re not staying home,” said activist group Il-Kenniesa today as they came together to volunteer to donate blood.
There were many who have been making a huge effort for the past weeks preparing for the Malta marathon on Sunday that was cancelled due to bad weather. A group came together and decided to join the initiative by activist group Il-Kenniesa to raise funds for The Shift, which relies on public donations for its work.
Some even flew in from abroad to support the effort. But news of the marathon’s cancellation did not dampen their spirits – as an alternative action, a number of them met this morning at the Blood Transfusion Centre to volunteer to donate blood.
“The weather may have stopped us from running 10k around Malta, but instead we’ve come together to donate blood and hope people continue to join our campaign and donate to The Shift throughout the day,” Il-Kenniesa said.
Rosa Borg, Andre Delicata, Mark Borg and Robert Zammit wore t-shirts with the words ‘We Support Free Press’ saying that while more needs to be done on a policy level to ensure more protection for journalists and the stories they expose, civilians also need to play a role in supporting independent media.
Zammit, who flew in from London, said he supported the effort because of the importance of investigative journalism.
“Investigative journalism takes time. Taking on vested interests costs money. Both are well worth the effort,” he said.
Anti-corruption activist group Il-Kenniesa said the liberty of independent journalism was essential for democracy to function as it should, free from harassment, free from intimidation, free from risk, they said. “We are living in a world where it’s become normal to call a journalist brave and heroic – for simply doing their job”.
They said they made the effort because the public deserves journalism that is free from commercial bias and free from political finances. Independent media is essential because it does not implicitly trust politicians. The people deserve real journalism that sheds light on abuse of power, corruption and injustice – it is only then that people can make well informed decisions, the group said.
“There is something terrifying about a journalist exposing stories which are ignored and not investigated by authorities. It is then that the journalist is mostly at risk as was Daphne Caruana Galizia. We’ve seen government officials remain silent, or even worse, endorse hate campaigns on journalists, more so when they’ve been killed for what they wrote,” they said.
Il-Kenniesa reinforced the call for a full independent and urgent public inquiry into Caruana Galizia’s assassination, saying the country must ensure such an assassination can never happen again.
“Independent journalists are not your enemy, so don’t treat them like they are. Support The Shift News by reading their work, sharing their stories, and, if possible, by donating. Praise them where praise is due, we are all in this together,” they said.
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