The Labour government is playing games to try and enforce an authoritarian press reform which will see the introduction of the right to privacy, military committees that spy on journalists, and a recognition of SLAPP cases in local courts. Yesterday, a consultation report by the government-appointed committee was published. The report contained the committee’s counter-proposals and at best, they were disappointing.
The government will re-open another round of consultation, but in reality, we know the government’s intentions are nefarious and authoritarian. The press has been divided by the government and can’t organise to present a united front, especially when Trojan horses like Saviour Balzan play double-games by simultaneously having leading roles in the press industry while doubling as government propagandists and personal consultants to the prime minister himself.
The Nationalist Party needs to help the press industry by stepping into the debate and presenting its own bill. I will be the first to support a bill on press reform presented by the Nationalist Party if it meets our standards and expectations.
I hope this message comes across because the situation is very serious for us. We are dealing with an outright hostile government and no one is backing us on this.