Saviour Balzan’s attempt to discredit independent reporting ‘troubling’ – RSF

Reporters without Borders said Saviour Balzan’s attempt to discredit independent reporting is “troubling,” especially given his role on the committee of experts responsible for the implementation of the recommendations put forward by the board of the public inquiry into Daphne Caruana Galizia’s assassination.

The international press freedom NGO criticised the government consultant-cum-media owner for having used his blog to portray The Shift and Manuela Delia’s blog as “reference points” for the party in opposition and further pointed out that implementing the recommendations made by the board remains a crucial step towards ensuring press freedom reform in Malta.

On Monday, Balzan, the co-owner of Media Today who operates on a separate level as a PR consultant to various government ministries and agencies, as well as being granted prime time slots on the public broadcaster, published a blog post on Monday where he associated The Shift with activist group Repubblika and blogger Manuel Delia, accusing all three entities of ‘prejudice’ and of acting as a reference point for the PN’s policies despite The Shift having made clear over the years that it is not in any way affiliated with the PN, Repubblika or Manuel Delia.

The Shift is the only community-funded newsroom in the country. We publish a financial statement, following the submission of the company’s audited accounts, to explain sources of income and areas of expenditure to our readers.

In October last year, The Shift revealed that Balzan had received more than a million euros in government contracts. The full amount has yet to be determined as several government ministries and agencies refused to pass on the information requested by The Shift.

The Shift was then forced to file Freedom of Information (FOI) requests to the Data Protection Commissioner in order to gain access to the missing details and be able to report the full extent of Balzan’s involvement with the Labour government.

The Shift’s FOI requests were successful, and the Data Protection Commissioner ordered the information to be made available. However, instead of disclosing the information, 30 ministers and government departments filed identical appeals against the order, signalling that this was a concerted effort to block The Shift’s work towards uncovering the truth.

All 30 appeals are currently being challenged, tying up The Shift’s time and resources on what is clearly part of a deliberate, cynical attempt to hide the truth and block the independent media from its rightful access to information.

                           
                               
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Joseph
Joseph
1 month ago

Issa irid iraqqad il-muntanja li qal meta qatlu lill DCG. Taf x’messek ghid li messu ilu li irezenja il-gvern fuq din. U nghidlek ghaliex. Ghax illum il-gvern ta’jumejn jirrapresenta 45% tal-Maltin biss. 55% huma l’opposizjoni, il-partiti zghar l’ohra u dawk li ma ivvutawx ghal xi raguni. Gahan huwa zgur li johrog jivvota. Ghalura tista tispjega ghaluex hemm distakk ta’disa siggijiet. Nies ta’integrita jrid jibqghu fil-poter akkost ta’ kollox biex inessu il-kriminalita u s-serq li ghamlu. Pajjiz serju ma jzommx il-poter akkost ta’kollox biex dawk komplici jipqghu jigru barra. Dan pajjiz sar komunista dittatorjali.

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