[WATCH] Saviour Balzan’s videoblog on libel cases

Saviour Balzan argues that Maltese press laws are far too subject to interpretation, posing a threat to the fourth estate

In his latest videoblog, MediaToday managing editor Saviour Balzan warns that Malta’s press laws pose a threat to the freedom of the fourth estate.

“Press laws are subject to so much interpretation that it makes it all but impossible for journalists to investigate, comment or pass justice,” Balzan says. “It’s thanks to the fourth estate that stories such as the Café Premier bailout, the oil scandal and the Gaffarena expropriation have been made public.

“However, if the media keeps getting caught up in a web of technicalities and legal interpretations on whether comments are defamatory, then a crucial pillar to democracy will be placed at risk.”

He also criticises the fact that one magistrate hears every single libel case, “a problematic situation that has been with us for many years and can no longer remain as it is”.

Balzan explains that he doesn’t look at people’s political colours when deciding whether to run a story.

“I believe in calling a spade a spade,” he says.