The government is using the silence of the Institute of Maltese Journalists which hasn’t even released an official position, as a green light to go ahead with its forced and arbitrarily made-up reforms.
The Institute of Maltese Journalists has never been a serious bastion of free speech nor of journalists’ rights and interests. Some of its members are also government propagandists who work for the Union’s press, ONE and other Labour-supported entities. So far, with regards to the government’s forced reform of the press, the Institute has allowed the government to run roughshod over the press and the whole industry. However, I doubt whether the Institute of Maltese Journalists has as many paid-up members as the people who signed the petition. Surely, these people are more representative of the free and independent press than the Institute of Maltese Journalists.
This reform will be the first totalitarian hallmark of Robert Abela’s Labour government. The next will be the re-introduction of criminal libel.