‘Certain journalism principles are being distorted by some journalists’ – Joe Micallef Stafrace
With a vast experience in journalism, Dr Joe Micallef Stafrace, although he is today retired, he follows events in the country and claims that certain sacred principles of professional journalism are being distorted by some.
Dr Micallef Stafrace, who was a journalist, editor, University lecture on press law and served as the Broadcasting Authority chairman, stressed that a journalist has the duty to inform however, he insisted, that he wants to make a distinction between facts and opinions. He stated that it is a sacred principle that reporting should always be based on facts, but this is not always the case.
“Some journalists are compromising themselves as they do not know how to control certain reporting. I always taught an old principle; I did not invent this: ‘facts are sacred – comment is free’. You have to substantially establish facts and this is in the interest of the journalist. It is a duty for a journalist to keep people informed, however a lie is always a lie”.
Dr Micallef Stafrace expressed his concern that social media means are negatively affecting journalists of the traditional media. “I think it is destroying the journalists’ reputation. Serious, professional journalists many times handle certain rubbish and dirt in the social media….That is, I expect that serious journalists are self-disciplined but I also pretend that they are not polluted by this quality of rubbish which we are seeing on the modern media”.
Dr Micallef Stafrace said journalists have a great responsibility, however he feels sad when ethics are not adhered to and what he always insisted that family affairs, should be left at home.