From Labour’s totalitarian press reform: Journalism is ok but not when it is about “private matters”

The Labour Party is pushing a totalitarian press reform without consultation which will create a military committee to oversee the press and enact SLAPP laws in Malta.

The draft bill will also create a new limitation on journalism on private matters which will be introduced in the constitution. This limitation is a gross overreach that the Minister of Justice, Jonathan Attard didn’t dare to mention, yesterday in his press conference.

The privacy of public persons should never be a constitutional right, but here we are. Everyone will be granted the constitutional right to privacy, even public persons. I am sure that this goes against current EU law and case law and there will be plenty more opportunities by which to contest the government’s totalitarian proposals legally both in Maltese and in European courts.

Why would the government press on to enact a law on the press against the wishes of the press and without any consultation?

Because the government is not interested in helping the press – the government is at war against it.

When people like Kurt Sansone and Matthew Xuereb of the Institute of Maltese Journalists stop being “gentlemanly” and realise the gravity of the situation, maybe we can have an organisation which represents the interests of journalists instead of an organisation which ingratiates with the government.

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