So, this is why none of the committee members of the Media Experts Committee resigned in disgust as they were used to rubberstamp Robert Abela’s proposed authoritarian reform on the press. This committee was specifically used to divide the press and force through the most authoritarian reforms in the local history of the press. The proposed government bill which is already at the second stage in parliament includes:
1 – Constitutional reform which guarantees the absolute right to privacy to everyone and the banning of the publication of “private matters”.
2 – A military committee including the police commissioner, the principal permanent secretary, and the brigadier-general to spy on journalists with the pretense of protecting them.
3 – Official recognition of foreign SLAPP cases paired with local libel damages.
The bill was supposed to be clawed back and re-drafted but the government is going ahead with it. Note, that despite the committee members wre bought for just €18,000, Saviour Balzan’s media companies are dependent on government subsidies.