I would like to preface this opinion piece by making it absolutely clear that this is my individual opinion and in no way reflects my organisation, JEF Malta, or any other member of the executive.
For a political movement preaching that the opposition is being divisive and destructive, One News certainly hasn’t been holding back on misreporting about and attacking students who they deem destructively opposed to their ‘beliefs’. A quick search online will find that I’ve been critical of Net News and their approach as well, however, another quick search online will find that they are not following suit in making sure to alienate the student body.
This week saw students dabbling into investigative journalism only to be lambasted and brought to their knees within minutes for a less than ideal approach. Granted, this was a misstep on Insite’s part, but it was retracted and all efforts to mend bridges were made with immediate effect and the opportunity for the students mentioned to defend themselves was also given. This was only fair and I applaud Insite for their efforts.
Keeping this in mind, after One picked up the first report, including the names of the students which were retracted soon after. They ignored all the students’ replies also published by the organisation, as well as the Press Release which was subsequently released by Insite. They made two students, who for all intents and purposes were entirely innocent of the allegations presented, the poster children for PN intrusion at University, conveniently ignoring the 2013 Election Debate debacle. And now this morning we are graced by the presence of another article giving two more students similar treatment.
In Gabriel Micallef’s reply to the entire furore last night, he said that the kind of reporting done by Insite was not helping student activism in the least. Let me add on to that and say that political reporting in general, when unsourced, when unchecked, when out of context, and when purely done to look good with the more mature electorate who will gladly say, “IIIIII MADONNA L-ISTUDENTI TAL-LUM” is what truly hinders student politics and activism in general. The idea that we are only here to be ridiculed needs to stop.
This happened when The Malta Independent showed up during Freshers’ Week and created as viral a video as they could parading students’ general ignorance. And this is happening again with One’s ridiculous attempt at pleasing their diehard fan base. The only people who are enjoying this kind of ilk are the old and out of touch who are beyond help, and the young who have been so brainwashed by this point that they don’t realise that as soon as they step out of line, they’re next.
There is no humanity in One’s reporting, there are only votes. Once they deem the targeted students PN, whether they actually are or not, mind you, then they are only lost votes. Not the future of the country, or future politicians, or indeed people at all. This is shameful and disgusting and anyone who still believes that unity is what is being strived for is either incapable of cognitive processes, or merely selectively ignorant. When will this country grow up?