What you missed from Democracy Derailed? Media and Freedom of Speech

Posted On October 22, 2021

The second part of the Democracy Derailed? campaign by KSU took place last Saturday 16th October at the Urban Valley Hotel. Poignantly held on the 4th anniversary of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia’s murder, the Democracy Derailed? Media and Freedom of Speech conference focused on two main themes: The Safety of Journalists and the Media Sector, and Becoming a Journalist.

In the opening address, Alexandra Gaglione, KSU’s Social Policy Officer emphasised the need for society to recognise the importance of Daphne Caruana Galizia’s work and to keep it as part of the national discourse.

The first panel was focused on The Safety of Journalists and the Media Sector and included local  and international journalists Jon Mallia, Prof Louiselle Vassallo, Rebecca Vincent, Tom Gibson and Corinne Vella,. Throughout the Panel, the speakers went into the safety of journalists and the media sector in Malta vis-a-vis Daphne Caruana Galizia and how the media sector has evolved since her assassination, both on a local and an international level.

The second panel discussion focused on the journey towards becoming a journalist. The Panel made up of journalists Kristina Chetcuti, Albert Galea, Karl Azzopardi and Julian Bonnici, who delved into the realities of being a journalist in Malta whilst also touching upon related topics namely the influence of party-owned media and the risks and challenges within the sector.

Following a short break, the attendees were split into two workshops, tackling Women in the Media, and Censorship, respectively. During the workshops, the attendees had the chance to channel what was discussed during the panel, and apply them within their working groups. The event served as an opportunity for University Students to understand the importance of the media sector in civil society in order to ensure a sustainable and fully functional democracy. Given the speculated imminence of a General Election, raising awareness on the importance of an independent media sector which provides the public with unbiased and factual information is integral.

Written by Daniela Chatlani

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