Conference on freedom of speech and the protection of journalists

24 February 2022

A Public Conference on Freedom of Speech and the Protection of Journalists was held in Malta today, co-hosted by Repubblika, The Daphne Caruana Galizia Foundation, PEN Malta, and SOS Malta.

The purpose was to evaluate proposals that have been made since the Public Inquiry into the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia published its recommendations in July 2021.

The conference was chaired by Claudia Taylor-East from SOS Malta. Nicole Meilak from Malta Today spoke about her experience as a journalist working in Malta. The first keynote speaker, Professor Marilyn Clark, associate professor at the University of Malta and Council of Europe expert on media freedom, presented the findings of the Council of Europe study, “A mission to inform - journalists at risk speak out”, while Karl Schembri, a former journalist and media advisor with the Norwegian Refugee Council and the second keynote speaker, spoke about “Journalism on the frontline of democracy”. Sarah Clarke, Head of Europe and Central Asia at Article 19, spoke about creating an enabling environment for journalists in Malta.

All those present were invited to participate actively in the evaluation debate to help develop proposals on needed reforms. A report on the debate and conclusions of today’s conference will be presented to the Committee of Experts appointed by Malta’s government and tasked with providing feedback to government on government’s proposed legislation.

The event was organised with the support of the Embassy of the United States. Elizabeth F. Canellakis, Public Affairs Officer at U.S. Embassy Malta, addressed the closing session.

A recording of the conference is available online: