Thanks To The Frontliners

“Il-ġurnalisti huma raġuni ewlenija għaliex il-Laburisti jibqgħu jiżdiedu f’Malta” Robert Musumeci, lawyer, architect and wiseman of Malta informed us a few months back.

“M’għandix bżonn li inti tibgħatli l-mistoqsijiet biex niftaħ magisterial inquiry,” Ian Abdilla, head of the Economic Crimes Unit. “So when was it opened then?” asked Jacob Borg from the Times of Malta. The answer? “Mhux affarik actually…ma nagħtix risposti lill-ġurnalisti jiena.”

He goes on “trid inkellmek bl-Ingliż jew bil-Malti?”, obviously most patronisingly, in an attempt to humiliate the journalist (an argument straight out of the comments section of a Patrijotti Maltin Facebook post).

The Guardian regularly sends questions to Maltese Government. Thus, in every piece on our splendid country, one finds a clause on the lines of “The Maltese government did not respond to Guardian requests for comment”.

Is it surprising that Carmelo Grech, the individual tasked with assisting pushbacks of asylum seekers “replied by sending an angry-face emoticon”?

And what if we hearken back to the days of 3 am cabinet meetings, when the international and local media was cooped into a cubical of barriers, God forbid they stray within and ear-shot of one of our divine rulers. It goes without saying that Nicole from One News was not subject to this lowly treatment. After all, it’s only right to expect easier questions from One News journalists, isn’t it, Robert?

In a country where Karl Stagno Navarra plagues too many television screens all too regularly, where cases of national interest are none of a journalist’s business, where poultry husbandry is equally applicable to my lunch and my news provider, something is wrong.

At least one recent survey indicates that the people behind the mic are more trusted that the sleazy men in weird-coloured suits and the women with more botox than brain cells, which purport to be our politicians. Nonetheless, being any kind of decent journalist on this conglomeration of floating pebbles is one hard job.

If you’re doing your job well, rest assured of personal attacks left right and centre. Be ready to be mocked and toyed with. Expect to be called “not a serious journalist”. For some, most abhorrently, their fate is worse.

So, cheers to our knights in shining armour, our very own suldati tal-azzar, who jog around Valletta chasing after officials, visit brothels in search of a minister, stick their neck out in the name of the truth. These are the people who keep our country afloat. If it wasn’t for them, 17Black wouldn’t have become a household term, Joseph Muscat would still be Prime Minister, Konrad Mizzi would still be a minister and party vice Chris Cardona would be too.

To mark Konrad Mizzi expulsion from the Labour Party Parliamentary group, let us take a moment to thank these people who do us and our country an essential service. We thank you men and women, heroes amongst us, and we thank the one who watches us from above.

The truth will always prevail.

Written by: Xandru Cassar

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