MaltaToday at 20: Don’t say: ‘Less double-page analyses, more listicles please!’

The Skinny | No 11. MaltaToday’s 20th anniversay

What our we skinning? This very newspaper!

Why are we skinning it? MaltaToday will be celebrating its 20th anniversary later on this week.

Whoop-dee-doo. Isn’t that a little bit self-serving? Surely the passage of time is par for the course for a newspaper, which at the very least seeks to arrest the daily stream of events and pluck out what’s significant to present to readers... Aren’t we feeling philosophical today?! Give it a rest and come join the party.

Fine. What’s on offer, and what’s the main conversation piece? We can offer you any number of fine and not-so-fine spirits – leftover swag mouldering in the newsroom under a pile of archived newspapers and complementary publications. The conversation, however, has just hit a high note – we’re remembering the paper’s trajectory from its humble origins in 1999 to now, where it’s become a bona fide national paper and a key player of Malta’s media landscape.

But what makes MaltaToday so special? I must confess I never quite got it, though maybe it’s because I mainly get my news from Facebook these days... Well, MaltaToday emerged – and continues to assert itself – as an independent English-language newspaper in a country that runs short on them to this day. And given the toxic Maltese combination of draconian libel laws and a business-political stranglehold that is no friend to independent voices, that’s no small feat.

Indeed, and for 20 years running too! What do you think keeps the paper going? I would guess it’s a mix of foolhardy gumption and a decently clever approach to editorial recruitment. Present company excepted, of course.

Of course. Actually... Who ARE you, really? That’s a secret for the MaltaToday vaults, which may or may not be cracked open at the same time, 20 years ahead.

Do say: “We wish MaltaToday another 20 years of robust investigative journalism, which remains courageous and unrelenting in the face of economic obstacles and intimidation, while also allowing itself to take stock and accept and assimilate constructive criticism.”

Don’t say: “Less double-page analyses, more listicles please!”