IGM call out Konrad Mizzi on avoidance of press

A press release by Institute of Maltese journalists condemned Tourism Minister for deliberately avoiding informing the press of his public appearances 

The Institute of Maltese journalists have condemned the way that Tourism Minister Konrad Mizzi handles publicisation of events that concern him. This was followed by the Minister informing just TVM and the Labour Party newsroom to a visit he was paying to the Malta Film Commission offices on Tuesday morning, blocking journalists from other media houses from making an appearance.

Mizzi had been called out for behaving similarly in past instances. 

"Media access to government events is a right not a privilege," IGM said. "This is a deliberately discriminatory tactic to exclude sections of the Maltese press from putting questions to the minister that could force him to explain serious allegations of ministerial misconduct."

IGM argued that the minister concerned is "duty-bound" to give equal access to all media houses and to interact with the media as opposed to hiding from a democratic process. 

"A free and unhindered press is essential to the proper functioning of any democratic society," IGM said. "The press has an obligation to inform the public about matters of national and public interest."

The IGM press release suggested that this was a deliberate hide-and-seek tactic that was denying one of the pillars of democracy the power to act as a messenger to the public. "By bypassing the free press and speaking only to the national broadcaster and party media, the government shortcircuits a public bond of trust with the free press, readers and society."

Since they are democratically elected, IGM said, government ministers were bound by democracy's same principals to account for decisions taken by being available to a free press.