Why this story matters:
“She wrote what many of us wanted to say and didn’t have the guts to,” a reader of Malta's controversial blog, Running Commentary, said at a vigil on the day the blog's author was murdered in a car explosion. With its strict libel laws and elusive separation of powers, Malta is now trying to make sense of Daphne Caruana Galizia's legacy and future challenges.
Daphne Caruana Galizia, a journalist and blogger who focused on people in power, was named one of the 28 people shaping Europe’s future in 2017 by Politico. On October 16, she was killed in a car explosion. Few in Malta believe that an investigation into the assassination will lead to any conclusive evidence and target their criticism towards Malta's challenged institutions.
The assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia in a car bombing is the first time a media official has been assassinated for their work since the Charlie Hebdo attack. The case has sparked widespread criticism of Maltese institutions, questioning the rule of law, along with the capacity and independence of the police.
Details from the story:
- Daphne Caruana Galizia was trusted as the country's key investigative reporter, especially on corruption
- Her writing was also considered contemptuous and classist, thus extending her long list of enemies
- The press in Malta is challenged by a heavily politicized climate and stifling libel lawsMalta's positive economic outlook and expanding liberties have overshadowed the erosion of its institutions and the media