IĠM calls for a national commitment to free and independent media
The IĠM notes the findings of the 2020 Media Pluralism Monitor which confirms mounting harassment against journalists, media outlets face increasing economic uncertainty, as online media sphere fails to reinforce pluralism. The report points out a deteriorating situation regarding the standards and protection of the journalistic profession. The Study confirms the trends observed in the media sector in the past years: journalists are more and more victims of harassment; the sustainability of the news industry is at risk across Europe, while the gatekeeping role of digital platforms is on the rise.
The IĠM also notes that with regards to Malta, “it is common knowledge that particular entities do apply pressure on newsrooms threatening to cancel advertising revenue”. In a context where, as the report acknowledged, “journalists need to put in place measures that would safeguard their professional independence, to protect their working conditions as well as strengthen their position in a world in which the independent media is increasingly coming under attack”, the IĠM reiterates its request to government to meet and discuss ways in which anti-SLAPP legislation can be enacted. It further calls on government to withhold enforcement to any changes to the Broadcasting Act which will have serious impact on media revenue and hence media independence.
Such acts will indicate that Malta is serious in its commitment towards a free and independent media