Reversal of the press reform should see complete change of the bill

It is good news that the Prime Minister has finally decided to pause the press reform instead of bulldozing it in parliament. This pause comes literally just a couple of days after Justice Minister Jonathan went on a TV program and bragged and insisted that the government had made extensive consultation before presenting its bill in parliament.

However, there should be no illusions as to what is happening here.

Robert Abela is forcing negotiations with the press on his own terms, and with his own bill. The press should not fall into the trap of pleading for tweaks to a bill which the government is proposing, but instead should form a united position and present its own bill with all journalists and press behind it. This is the only way we can have leverage on the government. The press has to understand that its interests do not align with the government and the clash is inevitable.

Keep in mind that the government intends to re-introduce criminal libel as well after passing this bill.

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