Stagno Navarra apology to journalist: ‘I should have been more cautious’

Stagno Navarra apologises to Tim Diacono and insists that he had no intentions of inciting hate or violence

Updated at 7:58pm with IĠM statement

Karl Stagno Navarra has apologised to journalist Tim Diacono after singling him out for representing the 'anti-Labour establishment media'.

"I should have been more cautious," Stagno Navarra said while giving a brief statement on his TV show Pjazza.

Stagno Navarra found himself in hot water after suggesting on TV that Repubblika, the Nationalist Party, the Church and the media form part of an anti-Labour establishment. 

To suggest so, he referred to footage showing PN candidates, Tim Diacono, and priest David Cilia at a protest being held by the NGO Repubblika. Diacono was there to report on the demonstration. 

He directly apologised to Diacono and Lovin Malta for the comments, while reiterating that he did not intend on attacking them in his comments.

Stagno Navarra also read out a right of reply statement signed by Lovin Malta editor Julian Bonnici, stating that the media portal never declared itself to be against the Labour Party. 

"Any statement saying so is libellous," the statement said. 

Despite the apology, Stagno Navarra stood by his comments and said it was unacceptable for people to brand him as inciteful over the incident. 

"I did my duty as a journalist and made my observations," he said of the incident. "I can't accept people branding me as inciting hate or violence for the comments I made. That was never my intention."

"There is the right to protest, but not to exaggerate things by saying I'm inciting hate or violence. That is not my agenda nor that of the Labour Party."

‘This behaviour should not be repeated’ - IĠM

Meanwhile, the Institute of Maltese Journalists (IĠM) condemned Stagno Navarra’s comments towards the Lovin Malta journalist.

 “The IGM believes that if the presenter did not intend to target the journalist, then there was no need to highlight and name a journalist who was on site doing his work.
This misrepresentation of a journalist doing his job is wrong, condemnable and is an attempt to try and tarnish the journalist’s reputation,” it stated.

IĠM acknowledged Stagno Navarra’s apology, but insisted that his behaviour should not be repeated.

“After all that this country has gone through as a result of the assassination of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, trying to paint a negative picture of individual journalists is dangerous.”