Publish media reform report, journalists and activists tell Prime Minister

The group insisted that government doesn't draft relevant legislation before publicising the report and prepares a White Paper

A number of journalists, broadcasters, and other activists have penned a letter to the Prime Minister in relation to their concerns of a lack of transparency surrounding the media reform intended for the protection of journalists.

In the letter, signed by legal counsel to the Caruana Galizia family former Nationalist MP, the group expressed their disappointment that six weeks after a report by the Committee of Media Experts was handed to the Prime Minister, the report remains unpublished.

The group insisted that before government drafts laws that reflect the committee's report, "any legislative bill the government prepares is first published as a White Paper before it is presented to Parliament and before the commencement of the formal law-making process." 

Here it was noted that free expression cannot be protected by laws drafted behind closed doors, as the active participation of the public, as well as the members of the press, is crucial.

"This is why we call on you to immediately publish the Committee’s report and recommendations," the group wrote, while also reiterating calls for an open and effective public consultation process.

"We expect the State to implement all the Public Inquiry recommendations and to do so in a holistic manner. This must include the recommendations on how to address impunity, corruption, and the abuse of power. This is the only way we can ensure journalists are protected," the group concluded.

Later in the evening, the Office of the Prime Minister issued a press statement saying that it intended to present the report in Parliament once it is back in session, as is required by the terms of reference. 

It also acknowledged that the experts committee handed in its final report a few weeks ago. The report will now be evaluated so that the government can proceed with the legislative changes.