June 1, 2019 | 5.30pm | Palazzo del Turismo

Personal Matters. The role of journalism in the era of advocacy and whistleblowing

Panel discussion with James Harkin, Gabriela Manuli and Matthew Caruana Galizia, moderated by Claudine Blais. Free entry.

Talks & Presentations

Today, the role of journalism in society is being called into question.

Declining trust, increasing fragmentation, rising censorship, disappearing business models, violent attacks waged on reporters: from Malta to the Philippines, all of these factors are challenging the function of journalism as a watchdog for democracy and undermining freedom of expression across the world.

It’s the end of an era. As we mourn it, we’re seemingly burying another of old media’s legacy axioms — one that we have chased for so long: objectivity, and the myth surrounding it.

In an increasingly polarised society, where censorship and political attacks challenge the work of whistleblowers and frontline reporters, the mission of journalism is expanding from the premise of solely ‘reporting facts’ to the act of ‘advocating for causes’. It’s not shameful anymore for journalists to publicly defend their ideas — more often than ever, through their own work.

To explore this paradigm shift, we’ve dedicated this year’s DIG Festival to “Personal Matters”: we believe that great journalism is about impersonal facts, but also about personal ‘fights’. The more the battle for free speech becomes political, the more the beliefs, background, origins, and views of journalists need not be hidden nor set aside, sacrificed on the altar of objectivity. Journalists’ personal sphere has a role in their path toward truth. The personal, matters.

A group of great reporters will debate on the topic: James Harkin, director of the Centre for Investigative Journalism; Gabriela Manuli, deputy director of the Global Investigative Journalism Network; Matthew Caruana Galizia, investigative journalist from Malta. Moderated by Claudine Blais, from Societe TV Radio Canada.