Anti-corruption Maltese blogger killed in car blast
Brussels, October, 18th 2017 (RSF/IFJ/SIGNIS). Daphne Caruana Galizia, a Maltese journalist and blogger whose allegations about government corruption led to early elections last June, was killed on Monday by a car bomb. “This is dark day for Maltese democracy, freedom of expression and journalism”, says Pauline Adès-Mével, the head of the EU-Balkans desk of Reporters without borders (RSF, in French). The journalist of 53, a specialist in investigating corruption, had dedicated many articles of her blog "Running Commentary" on linking associates of Prime Minister Joseph Muscat to offshore accounts exposed by the Panama Papers. Her English-language blog would often get more readers than all of the Maltese newspapers, for which she also occasionally wrote. The journalist has been sued many times for her blog posts in which she revealed several corruption scandals involving Maltese politicians. In February 2017, the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) denounced the freeze of her bank accounts as well as the libel suits filed against her by Maltese Economy Minister and his consultant, following one of her blog post. In 2016, she was named by Politico as one of “28 people who are shaping, shaking and stirring Europe”, after being the first to break news of Maltese politicians’ involvement in the Panama Papers leak. Daphne Caruana Galizia had reported receiving threats to the police just two weeks ago, according to Maltese media outlets that declined to give more detail. SIGNIS, since its creation, promotes ethical professional journalism and support freedom of expression and the rights of journalist in the world.
Orbicom set to publish book on media, peace and conflict resolution
Paris, September, 26th, 2017 (UNESCO). The freedom, independence and safety of journalists is vital for peace and dialogue. This is the key argument made in a forthcoming compendium set to be published by Orbicom – the international network of UNESCO Chairs in Communication. It will bring together over a dozen of papers presented at the sixth edition of the Orbicom symposium held in May in Jakarta, Indonesia. The symposium, held alongside UNESCO’s global World Press Freedom Day conference in May, was opened by Dr Mahathir Mohammad, Malaysia’s former prime minister and subsequently hosted for dinner by Mr Rudiantara, Indonesia’s Minister of Communications and Information Technology. The central theme of the forthcoming book concerns the media conditions needed for creating space for peace and resolving conflicts. This argument is developed in a paper presented at the Jakarta symposium, by Guy Berger, Director of the Division for Freedom of Expression and Media Development at UNESCO. Berger’s paper highlights the interface of the norm of free expression with the issues of culture and peace, and highlights UNESCO’s promotion of conflict-sensitive journalism amongst reporters, along with media and information literacy competencies amongst social media users. A UNESCO-sponsored speaker at the symposium, Wallace Chuma of Cape Town University, pointed to the different factors impacting on journalism and peace in Africa, including organisational and professional (media) cultures, media funding and financing, ownership and structural factors, as well as political factors. The forthcoming book is expected to feature other papers presented by African journalism professors who were supported by UNESCO to participate in the Jakarta symposium. These include an analysis of the “International Court of Justice as an agent of peace journalism” in Kenya by Levi Obonyo of Daystar University. Other papers by UNESCO-sponsored participants are: "Language dynamics and the construction of peace around the Malagasy crises: Lived and projected through the media" by Madagascar’s Lucie Rabaovololona. "Media narrative construction of human rights abuse in Nigeria" by Abiodun Salawu of South Africa’s North-West University. The publication is being spearheaded by Prof. Andi Faisal Bakti, the newly established UNESCO Chair for Communication and Sustainable Development at Indonesia’s Pancasila University. Prof. Bakti was the host of the symposium, which was attended by almost 70 participants. The next Orbicom symposium is scheduled for Lima in 2018. Such symposia are held annually to bring together the over 30 UNESCO Chairholders in communication and 300 associate members of the Orbicom network.