European Parliament Launches Galizia Journalism Prize for Murdered Journalist

Maltese investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia was murdered in a car bomb explosion in October 2017. Photo: European Parliament
Maltese investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia was murdered in a car bomb explosion in October 2017. Photo: European Parliament

Daphne Caruana Galizia was a Maltese journalist, blogger, and anti-corruption activist who reported extensively on corruption, money laundering, and organized crime.

The European Parliament has launched a journalism prize in tribute to Daphne Caruana Galizia, a Maltese investigative journalist murdered in 2017.

The Daphne Caruana Galizia Prize for Journalism, launched on 16 October 2020, the third anniversary of her death, will reward outstanding journalism reflecting EU values.

“The Daphne Caruana Galizia Prize will recognize the essential role that journalists play in preserving our democracies and serve as a reminder to citizens of the importance of a free press,” said Parliament Vice-President Heidi Hautala. “This prize is designed to help journalists in the vital and often dangerous work they do and show that the European Parliament supports investigative journalists.”

The €20,000 annual prize will be awarded as of October 2021 to journalists or teams of journalists based in the European Union. Candidates and the eventual laureate will be chosen by an independent panel.

Daphne Caruana Galizia was a Maltese journalist, blogger, and anti-corruption activist who reported extensively on corruption, money laundering, organized crime, sale of citizenship, and the Maltese government’s links to the Panama Papers. Following harassment and threats, she was murdered in a car bomb explosion on 16 October 2017.

The outcry over the authorities’ handling of her murder investigation ultimately prompted the resignation of Prime Minister Joseph Muscat. Critical of failings in the investigation, in December 2019, MEPs called on the European Commission to take action.

The Caruana Galizia family, political parties, the European Union mission in Malta, academics, civil society, the University of Malta students’ union, and organized business and labour unions had called for PM Muscat’s immediate resignation.

The European Parliament says it strongly advocates the importance of a free press. In a May 2018 resolution, MEPs called on EU countries to ensure adequate public funding and to promote a pluralist, independent, and free media. Parliament has once again underlined the importance of media freedom in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic.

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