An investigation by The Shift has been nominated as a finalist for the European Parliament’s Daphne Caruana Galizia Prize for Journalism among 268 entries from newsrooms in EU countries.
The award, endorsed by the European Parliament since October 2020, is awarded to distinguish journalistic work based on the principles and values of the EU. It is awarded each year around 16 October as a symbolic reminder of the date of Caruana Galizia’s assassination in 2017.
The Shift’s investigative article ‘Courting Qatar: President invites alleged terrorism financiers to invest in Malta’, authored by Founder and Managing Editor Caroline Muscat in January 2023, chronicles Malta’s shady dealings in Qatar.
The award will be chosen by an independent jury who will award the prize at the European Parliament in Strasbourg. The jury will evaluate the articles based on their relevance to the EU, quality, originality and thoroughness.
The Shift joins finalists’ articles from 11 other news organisations throughout the EU, including Der Spiegel, Le Monde, Forbidden Stories and the Organised Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP).
The Shift’s article revealed how President George Vella sought investment from Qatari-resident Syrian billionaires accused only two months earlier of funding an Al-Qaeda-affiliated terrorist group.
The Shift subsequently revealed that the Qatari government covered many of the costs for several delegations from Malta to visit the country within a few months. They were joined by Corinthia Group, which has invested in the country. The Group’s Qatari partners also acquired Maltese citizenship ahead of the Maltese government’s eight visits in one year.
The story was published amid the start of the ongoing Qatargate scandal involving allegations that European Parliament lobbyists, their close aides, and family members were influenced by the Qatar government, particularly in decisions made in Brussels.
The 16 October 2023 will mark six years since the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia. An independent public inquiry into the assassination found that the Maltese state was responsible for creating a culture of impunity that led to her murder.