DaphneCaruanaGalizia.com, the website itself, is by far the most important monument to the slain journalist’s work.
This blog post will not be an analysis of the content on Daphne’s blog, nor of the political implications of the blog, its author, and her death. There is sufficient material on those subjects, so this will be a dispassionate analysis of the blog itself and its impact, from the perspective of a digital native, founder of a digital agency, with over a decade of experience in digital marketing and all things web.
As the fourth anniversary of Daphne’s assassination fast approaches, I’ll wade in and give my opinion about why I think that the most important monument to Daphne’s life and work is in fact, a digital mausoleum; her own website.
First off, her blog, with thousands of articles over many years, is Daphne’s life’s work. That alone already is a major part of why I think Daphne’s blog is her most important monument.
It is by now abundantly obvious to all that the reason why Daphne was loudly silenced was precisely because of what she exposed on her blog, or was close to exposing on her blog.
When an author dies mid-novel, and the novel is a core reason for their death, that work immediately becomes far more important than ever. I can think of no reason why Daphne’s blog should be considered any differently.
Second and carrying on from the first reason, Daphne’s blog provides historical context.
A particular company or individual who was mentioned in Daphne’s blog 10 or more years ago may have been of no importance then and received scant attention, but fast forward a few years and dozens of these entities or people became household names.
The blog is therefore important as it provides a record, sometimes even a contextual timeline, of how key players and their deeds — some alleged, some proven even in court — evolved throughout the years.
Third, the blog is still there, live on the web for all to see.
Unlike even the national broadcaster, who, for example, recently succumbed to political pressure to delete (and certainly also not even bother to report) certain stories, Daphne’s work is there for all to see, refer to, and be the judge of themselves.
Fourth, the sheer scale of it. Try this out; pick a name, any name of a mid-level government official or authority official who was embroiled in some sort of scandal.
Take that name and Google it and tell me what the results are.
I’ll bet I can predict that you would be able to find; a Shift News article, a handful of social media mentions, maybe a Government Gazette listing of some kind, and most probably a blog post from Daphne detailing the alleged misdeeds of the individual.
Fifth, Daphne Caruana Galizia’s blog is a resource unlike any other. In a small country like Malta where everyone knows each other, it’s easy to think we know all about one another, but we obviously don’t, or at least, not all of us are in the know.
Short of credit agencies and the regular news and social media, there are scant resources available to research an individual or company whose name you’ve never heard of, and fewer resources still to check and verify regarding their business practices, whether they play fair or not, and if they’ve ever been entangled in, or tried to hide their involvement in, any type of scandal.
Sadly, Daphne’s blog is a who’s who of miscreants, and sadder still, her work and life were cut short.
Putting it frankly, and I know I am not alone in this, a mention or allegation on Daphne’s blog in regard to someone’s behaviour in life or business is a pretty damn good indicator that we’ll never do business with them.
Let us not forget that where we are today, and where we were in 2019 for many months (until the pandemic forced us all indoors) is all thanks to Daphne. Or rather, it’s thanks to Daphne’s work in exposing facts that many would rather have remained obscured forever.
The fact that a lone woman, by exposing these secrets, had such an effect that an early election was called, her assassination ordered, and because her killing shocked and chilled us, then brought about months of street protest culminating in a number of resignations and change of hands in Parliament, even where an enormous electoral majority prevails – none of that is to be sneezed at.
Saying this is a David and Goliath story does not do Daphne justice, because Daphne may have been a David, sure, but she faced off a thousand Goliaths, alone.
Seventh, Daphne’s blog is the basis for even more investigative and journalism work.
Not only is Daphne’s blog still available for all, it’s also the foundation of the work carried out by countless others, including The Daphne Project, collaborative, a “cross-border investigative journalism project by major news organizations from around the world”.
That not one, but not two, but dozens of journalists and news organizations across the world rally together and continue Daphne’s life’s work is, to my eyes at least, absolute proof that not only was Daphne right, but that the importance of her blog, even now, frozen in time, has never been greater.