lundi, mai 08, 2006
Arcibald also seems to have hooked on the weirdness of Maltese journalism in his latest post. The current spectrum of Maltese mediocrity is about to be reboosted with the addition (or reinsertion) of that prime internet rag called Maltastar. The Labour netpaper had started off rather well the first time round. The layout and presentation was miles ahead of the Nationalist counterpart which stuck to its drab colours and mediaset headline style. Interestingly, none of the net papers caught on to the blogging phenomenon and unlike their international counterparts, none of them can boast a blogged article section. Unless, of course, you count the pompous editorials (adorned with squiggly signature) that were shot out on a not-so-regular basis.
Thus, while Il Foglio, La Repubblica, The Guardian, The New York Times and le Monde set standards, Maltese online attempts at communication are busy ignoring the change. This should not come too much as a surprise. The Maltese media establishment - that crowd made up of editors, journalists and opinionists - are not open to discovering information. They are busy spinning it. Which is an altogether different kettle of fish. Five minutes of chatter with any journalist from the islands of milk and honey will show you what I mean. They are NOT reporters. (heaven forbid). They are blessed with an opinion, an idea and most of all... they are just biding their time before they take over the next government. Editorials are raped daily in order to appease god knows what agenda. From the Times' recent blunders, through Nazzjon and Orizzont's propaganda to Hogan's personal crusades.
Which is why articles blogged online will never catch on. It would mean a move away from the dominance of the editorial desks. It would deprive those scuttling armies of men and women armed with recording machines of the necessary clout to get them into the next electoral campaign. In other words it would open the eyes of the readers to another dimension of discussing what's on and what's good and what's bad in Malta. Which does not mean that the blogger would be right. BUT it would be different. It would be too different insofar as the mainstream newspaper way of thinking is concerned. And ask any editor and he would probably tell you: "We are not ready for that. Not now anyway."
Which is the truth. In a way. The sad, damning truth.
PS: I have not had the chance to read the Maltatoday editorial that is referred to in this post by Fausto. Having said that I agree that equating the act of an arsonist to the act of a plaintiff in a libel case would be an act of opportunism by Balzan. On the other hand, if what Balzan meant is that nothing will stop him from saying what he thinks, then a list of obstacles ranging from arson to libel would be fair play.