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Title: Legal protection of journalists when acting as watchdogs of society
Authors: Cauchi, Paula
Keywords: Freedom of the press
Freedom of the press -- Malta
Mass media
Mass media -- Malta
Freedom of expression
Freedom of expression -- Malta
Libel and slander
Libel and slander -- Malta
Issue Date: 2016
Abstract: It has become an accepted fact by society as a whole that the degree of a government’s accountability and transparency relies on the media and their examination of the government’s performance. The role of journalists to act as watchdogs of society has been identified as an essential requirement for a democratic society by local and foreign jurisprudence. Notwithstanding this crucial function, as the Maltese law stands today, an investigative journalist is not protected adequately by legislation to carry out this watchdog function. Neither is the term ‘journalist’ given a concrete definition by the Maltese legislator. Thus, the protection of the ‘art of seizing reality back from the powerful’, as Julian Assange describes it, is purely left up to the discretion of the Court. While the European Court of Human Rights has taken a constant stand in favour of watchdog journalism, Maltese jurisprudence has not kept a uniform approach in libel cases involving journalists. Through an inter-disciplinary perspective, this research paper reviews the legal protection of journalists when acting as watchdogs of society, who is afforded this protection and analyses whether journalists consider themselves to be sufficiently protected to carry out this role. This paper also proposes changes in the current system to provide a better protected scenario for investigative journalism.
Description: LL.B.
Appears in Collections:Dissertations - FacLaw - 2016
Dissertations - FacLawMCT - 2016

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