By Marica Micallef
The local mainstream media has embraced the habit of taking up ideas and articles whose originality does not belong to it and stealing work which entails endless hours of research, from another source.
Since God pushed me to this unexpected journey when Prof Simon Mercieca invited me more than once to start contributing and being of service to the nation, I have often caught the local mainstream media either coming up with an article with a very similar theme or rebutting with contradictory scenarios or else literally taking up a publication of mine and making it theirs. This competitive web which the media wants to trap itself in [I cannot care less as I only compete with myself], has been going on since the beginning of this journey, but I am going to give a few, most recent examples:
In my 17th April 2022 piece, called “Fearne only gave a verbal assurance that pupils can go to school without masks. Educators are still waiting for a written confirmation”, I informed the public about the mixed messages that the local health authorities were giving about mask-wearing in schools while referencing to a post on Facebook by a mother whose son was still asked to wear a mask while attending one of Club 3-16 centres. I had also added the reply that she had got from SAĦĦA whereby she was informed that “children aged 5 years and over are to continue wearing the face mask and no parent can ask or want to have their children without the mask because this won’t be allowed until the legal notice is issued.”
What does Lovin Malta do? 3 days after my above publication, exactly on the 20th of April, the media published an article entitled “Klabb 3-16 still making children wear masks despite Chris Fearne’s 13th April promise.” Here, LovinMalta took up my topic, stating that it had seen “an email that the Foundation for Educational Services, which manages Klabb 3-16” and which was sent by a parent, confirming that mask-wearing is still mandatory.
It is so unprofessional to not cite the original source of the idea, to not state one is doing a “follow-up” of an article of another source, and instead, you make it yours.
So much for originality and creativity…
Times of Malta also decided to join and came up with two articles, one published on the 20th of April called “Some schools keep masks mandatory until clear guidelines are issued” and another on 22nd April 2022, named “Can schools force children to wear masks? MUT says relaxed guidelines unclear.” Although in both articles, the content was different, the theme went around masks, schools, and unclear guidelines.