Daphne Caruana Galizia

1964 - 2017

Daphne Caruana Galizia and her sister Corinne Vella
Daphne and her sister Corinne in Marsaxlokk, Malta, taken around 1982.

Daphne Caruana Galizia was born on August 26, 1964, in Sliema, a seaside town in Malta, the first of Rose and Michael Vella's four daughters. She married her husband, Peter, in 1985, and they had three sons, Matthew, Andrew, and Paul.

Daphne was Malta’s first woman columnist, and the first to publish in her own name, at a time when Malta’s newsrooms were entirely staffed by men, newspaper columnists were almost unheard of, and articles either did not carry bylines or were published under a pseudonym.

She began writing a column for Malta’s Sunday Times in 1988, shortly after her youngest son was born. Her column was unusual for its time — a mix of commentary, opinion, reportage and analysis which shone a light in the darkest shadows and brought a note of much needed satire and humour to Malta’s media. She later helped establish The Malta Independent, both as its associate editor and as a columnist.

At 28, and already the mother of three sons, Daphne enrolled at the University of Malta to study archaeology and anthropology, while continuing to write a regular column for the Sunday Times. “Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence”, a guiding principle in archaeology, was a maxim she applied to her journalism. She wouldn’t overlook a story even when there seemed to be no evidence trail to follow.

In 2004, along with her by then twice-weekly column, Daphne began publishing magazines which reflected her interests, ranging from food, design, interiors, art, and culture, to business and the people who make things happen. Taste&Flair, her most popular magazine, is part of her legacy and is still published by The Daphne Caruana Galizia Foundation.

She began her blog spontaneously in March 2008 when Malta was heading to a general election, and immediately published her first post, “Zero tolerance for corruption”. The blog is where she broke most of her major stories, attracting a daily readership that averaged 400,000 and sometimes up to a million. She published her last post at 2.35pm on 16 October 2017.

Despite attempts to take it down, Running Commentary remains online.