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Murder of Maltese journalist shows why we must honour this very special breed of men and women

letter of the day: media bravery

The definition of news as "something that somebody, somewhere wants to suppress" is one that leaps to mind when you consider the sinister and shocking murder of a brave investigative journalist in Malta.

Daphne Caruana Galizia was a popular and fearless woman, who exposed political corruption in her homeland, both in print and via her blog.

One thinks immediately of Veronica Guerin's untimely death at the hands of Irish criminals. The two women died while earnestly seeking and reporting the truth about corrupt and criminal factions within their societies.

The impact of Ms Galizia's probing journalism can be gauged by the vehemence of the reaction to her work from government and opposition politicians alike in Malta and by the long lines of detractors availing of her country's libel laws in a sustained attempt to intimidate her into silence.

To her eternal credit, she refused to capitulate to either legalistic gagging tactics, or the more frightening threats from people who, in the end, believed the only way to escape the harsh light of truth was to kill her.

I think we often take such courageous people for granted: the Daphne Galizias and Veronica Guerins of this world, who hold the powerful, the murderous and the corrupt to account on our behalf, in the interests of decency, justice, and true democracy, and also journalists assigned to war zones, who have fallen on the battlefield almost unnoticed, while risking their lives to provide us with information.

News reports nowadays are accessible to us at the swipe of an iPad, or by looking up Facebook, most of it costing us nothing.

It's good to remember - and to honour - the special breed of men and women who bring us that news.

John Fitzgerald

By email

Belfast Telegraph

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