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An Investigative Reporter Takes Her Last Breath as a Cat Chat Reporter Googles Her Assignment

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Seira Murray, Graphic Design Editor

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October 16, 2017, I was working on my assignment for my online student newspaper class, CAT CHAT, about investigative reporters when a really peculiar thing happened. My assignment was to read an article from Newsela about what an investigative reporter’s job was and to then Google two other investigative reporters and write about their life history. 

I was working on the second part of the assignment, Googling investigative reporters, when an article popped up. I noticed it was posted just eleven minutes before I began my search where I found a story on an investigative reporter, Daphne Caruana Galizia, in Malta, the smallest country of the European Union. I found that she had been killed in a car bombing just moments before I Googled her.

Reports say that Galizia had been assassinated, and that the force of the explosion had been so harsh that it sent her car flying over a wall and into a field. Recent posts also say that Galizia had reported death threats towards her just two weeks before her death.

I think it’s a little odd that at almost the precise moment I was writing about this woman and her job as a reporter-the next thing I know, I find an article about her being assassinated. I didn’t expect to find something like that while I was doing this assignment, but reality hit and my heart started to bleed.

Reading articles about her, people had said that she had made many enemies, especially with her line of work. She was an investigative reporter that uncovered what was going on with the government and their corrupt lawmaking system in Malta. People have started calling her death the “collapse of the rule of law.”

According to, Galizia’s popular blog, “Running Commentary,” she was one of the most influential within Maltese politics. It was a leading factor prompting Prime Minister Joseph Muscat to call early elections four months ago after she alleged that he and his wife were linked to the Panama Papers scandal. The couple denied allegations that they had used secret offshore bank accounts to hide payments from the ruling family of Azerbaijan.

Family and friends declared that her murder would not be in vain, and expressed hope that other journalists would carry the torch against corruption.

Doing this assignment on investigative reporters and actually reading about it has made me more aware of the dangers related to investigative reporting. I don’t think a lot of people know what it’s like to have to go through things like this, having your life threatened because of something you wrote relating to your world around you.

Investigative reporters put their lives on the line for an average salary of $63,378, according to payscale.com. I now have a greater appreciation for living with the freedoms we have in the United States.

CNN

Daphne Caruana Galizia was born August 26, 1964, in Sliema, Malta and died October 16, 2017, in Bidnija, Malta.

In her final blog post, which was published around 30 minutes before the explosion, she wrote: “There are crooks everywhere you look now. The situation is desperate.”

“My mother was assassinated because she stood between the rule of law and those who sought to violate it, like many strong journalists. But she was also targeted because she was the only person doing so. This is what happens when the institutions of the state are incapacitated: the last person left standing is often a journalist,” commented Matthew Caruana Galizia.

The European Parliament will be the renaming the Strasbourg HQ press room after Daphne Caruana Galizia to honor the memory of the slain Maltese investigative journalist.

 

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