Caroline Muscat is a woman, a journalist, who today represents as few the authentic values of our profession. She is an investigative reporter in Malta, an island where you pay with your life because of your job.
On October 16, 2017, Daphne Caruana Galizia was killed in her car, turned into a bomb. From that day on, after losing a dear friend and colleague, Caroline Muscat continued her fight against corruption and against mafia with a new determination. Among the promoters of Occupy justice (one of the first groups born on the death of Daphne to demand justice), Muscat founded the independent investigative portal The Shift News, with the aim of reversing the march in the Maltese media landscape, strongly controlled by politics and by the banks.
At the Forum of Mediterranean Women Journalists, in 2017, Caroline Muscat and colleague Petra Caruana Dingli presented Invicta, the book on the life and career of Daphne Caruana Galizia of which they are co-authors. “At a journalistic level we can never replace Daphne, but we can certainly try to continue her investigative work,” Muscat said, when she was awarded as a Peace Envoy for the first time, within the Forum.
To Caroline, awarded yesterday with the prestigious Press Freedom Award by Reporters Without Borders, goes the embrace of all the women of the Forum, with a collective stimulus: let’s move forward together. So that not only Daphne, but also democracy, always remains Invicta.
By Alice Elizabeth Taylor
Source: The Shift News
The Shift News founder and editor Caroline Muscat has won this year’s Press Freedom Award for Independence. She was recognized by Reporters Without Borders (RSF) for her work against corruption with The Shift News, and for refusing to back down “despite massive pressure”.
Runners up for this year’s prestigious Independence award were Pakistan’s oldest daily newspaper ‘Dawn’, Cameroon-based media freedom journalist Amadou Vamoulke, and the Nicaraguan investigative portal ‘Confidencial’.
The awards were presented at a gala ceremony in Berlin before a packed audience of international journalists, human rights activists, media lawyers, and political figures.
Muscat dedicated her award to assassinated Maltese journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, who was killed with a car bomb just metres from her home in October 2017.
“Daphne shone a light on the rapidly spreading rot of corruption that has taken over our country,” she said. “Almost two years after her brutal murder, and in a country of only half a million people, the authorities still won’t tell us who wanted her silenced.”
The Council of Europe has given Malta a deadline to hold an independent public inquiry into the journalist’s assassination, but with just 14 days remaining, there is no sign that this will take place.
“As journalists, we should not be asked to risk our lives, or our peace of mind, to do our jobs,” she said.
“We don’t need to be heroes. The fact that some of us are being recognized as such says more about the countries we work in than it does about us. We are all made more vulnerable when justice is out of reach and impunity strengthens the hand of the corrupt.”
Malta has fallen 32 places in the World Press Freedom Index since the governing Labour Party came to power in 2013.
The Press Freedom Awards were established in 1992 to honour journalists “who, despite the most adverse circumstances, keep a close eye on those in positions of power”. Twelve journalists and news outlets were shortlisted for this year’s awards in the categories of Independence, Impact, and Courage.
Other 2019 winners included Eman Al-Nafjan, who was recognised for ‘Courage’ as a blogger and journalist in Saudi Arabia. Al-Nafjan has campaigned tirelessly for women’s rights in a country where she is considered a “traitor”, and is facing jail time of up to 20 years for her work.
The winner of the ‘Impact’ category was Pham Doan Trang, founder of online magazine Luat Khoa in Vietnam. A strong advocate for LGBT rights, she reports on civil rights issues in the repressive state, where she has been beaten and arbitrarily imprisoned a number of times.
RSF Germany’s Board Spokesperson Michael Rediske said in a statement prior to the ceremony, “The awards are a signal to repressive regimes that the work of courageous women and men is perceived worldwide, and that we don’t leave those being threatened, harassed and imprisoned alone.”