Newsbook is still awaiting a reply from PN’s Secretary-General over this particular incident.
As a fiery Executive Committee meeting took place behind closed doors, journalists faced intimidation from the Nationalist Party’s makeshift security team right in front of the party’s headquarters, Dar Ċentrali.
The men, who are Nationalist Party and (presumably) Adrian Delia supporters, included Vincent Borg, more popularly known as Ċensu l-Iswed, who led the barrage, threateningly telling a Times of Malta photo-journalist:
“You think you’re fooling people, clown? Now I’ll speak to you myself later.”
Meanwhile, Godric Marston, a PN Local Council Candidate in Marsa, approached a Newsbook reporter who was filming the incident, in what is a public space. Attempting to shield the journalist’s lens and stand imposingly in front of them, Marston asked:
“Are you enjoying this?”
The incident kicked off after the men insisted that the journalists stand behind a barrier to the side of Dar Ċentrali.
However, the press members wished to position themselves in front of the building (as has been done at most press events held there), which would provide better shots and coverage.
The area is a public space, and the faux-security guards were not actually protecting anyone at that time.
Newsbook has written to the PN’s Secretary General Clyde Puli about the incident, Editor-in-chief Sylvana Debono told Lovin Malta, asking that “sufficient precautions are taken to avoid recurrence so that our journalists can do their job as is their right in a free democracy.”
“Such incidents help no one, and press freedom needs to be safeguarded at all costs,” she said.
They are still awaiting a reply.
Manuel Delia has also reported that Times of Malta managing editor Herman Grech has done the same.
The case may seem innocuous to some. However, the PN’s part-time security team brashly intimidating journalists simply doing their jobs is yet another damning indictment of press freedom in Malta.
With the shocking death of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia still fresh in the memory, actions like these cannot go unnoticed by the country’s authorities and politicians.
It is as yet unclear what sort of repercussions the men will face.