The Institute of Maltese Journalists called on Government for protection by extending aid announced earlier this week to the media industry.
The Institute noted that in view of the fact that most businesses are partially shut down, advertising has practically stopped, depriving media companies of an essential credit lifeline. Moreover, with big chunks of the populations forced into lock down, fewer people were buying their daily paper. This has placed the employment of journalists in significant danger. This also affects the livelihood of a number of freelance journalists, photographers and camera persons whose income had already been significantly curtailed with the cancellation of mass events including sporting competitions.
The Institute reminded the Prime Minister that journalism is a critical foundation in any democratic society and in this particular situation the media was playing a central role in delivering information to the public.
In their letter, the Institute listed a number of initiatives taken by foreign governments to protect the sector. These initiatives range from direct financial aid, short term grants, sick leave payments and loan guarantees.