Prof Andrew Azzopardi has urged Government to set up as soon as possible a financial package that can supports the media during this time of crisis. Prof Azzopardi argued that while the media is a crucial element in democracy in normal times, during these unusual circumstances, no other institution has the power to seek the truth, disseminate it, promote civic participation and by doing so hold power to account better than the fourth-estate.
The Dean of the Faculty for Social Wellbeing expressed his believe that the responsibilities borne by a free and responsible media are even more crucial to our functioning as a society during this current crisis.
In his statement, Andrew Azzopardi argued that “the only way to avoid exploitation of this vulnerable moment of civil trust and unity as well as to ensure that government is indeed doing the best it can do in such a moment would be to ensure that the media is well equipped to do their job. Additionally, in a moment of social distancing when everyone is really feeling detached, it is this constant influx of information that keeps the sense of community alive. Lest we forget that the media is a crucial building block in the social wellbeing of our country.
Prof Azzopardi concluded that a free and supported media will primarily ensure that all of Government’s directives are transmitted to the various segments of the population who might feel greater attachment with certain media houses over others. At the same time, it was important that every Government initiative is expertly and thoroughly scrutinized to ensure that the best ideas are propounded and when mediocre ideas are put forward valuable critique which might improve these ideas is put forward.