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– THE CONS !  !

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News Media Must Up Their Game Or Trump Will Run The Show

“Journalists covering the White House must always be at the top of their game: tenacious, fearless and dedicated to a fair accounting of the truth. But the Trump presidency will challenge them like no other in our lifetime.”

Canadian veteran journalist Sean Mallen tries to decypher Donald Trump’s relationship with the media.  I made Sean’s acquantance when I produced his ENG live segments during the last Cardinals’ Conclave which elected Pope Francis from St. Peter’s Square in Rome, Italy.

Sean Mallen had an award-winning career of more than 3 decades covering stories from coast to coast and around the world, principally for Global News. He was Queen’s Park Correspondent, Host-Producer of Focus Ontario and the London-based Europe Bureau Chief for Global National. He is a multiple winner of the RTNDA award, including a citation for coverage of referendum night in Montreal in 1995. He has covered several federal, provincial and municipal elections going back to the 1980s. The many international stories he has covered include the Royal Wedding, the Eurocrisis in Greece, the Arab Spring in Egypt, Vladimir Putin’s re-election as president, the Costa Concordia disaster, the last Papal Conclave and both the Athens and London Olympics. He is now a communications consultant in Toronto, specializing in strategic communications. speech writing and high level media training. He is also an award winning travel writer with articles published in the Toronto Star, Post Media papers and other publications.

Read his full article on link below:


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A course in Photography is being organised, which will give participants a sound basis to increase one’s learning and enjoyment of the medium.

This popular course is specifically aimed at persons wishing to make fast, practical inroads into photographic enjoyment. Read more on the link below


“Foundation Course” is being done under the auspices of the MIPP and caters for the enthusiastic  beginner who wants to learn how to control his camera better,

understand better photographic terminology, improve his  pictures as well as grasp the fundamentals of photography. The course is also suitable for students doing their System of Knowledge projects.


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My friend in photography and a fellow Nikonista, Keith Ellul, has been interviewed for the website THE MALTESE GALLERY. See the video below to appreciate his work, his thinking process and inspiration.

Keith Ellul, 37, lives in San Gwann, Malta. He works in the automotive industry as a Spare Parts Manager. He considers himself to be a simple person who loves photography, and enjoys spending his free time in the early mornings by the sea, where he finds peace and balance from his daily routine in today’s hectic life – which is a challenge, as he also has to balance the responsibilities of a full-time job and the demanding role of a parent and a husband, not to mention all the other things that life throws at you. Photography has grown to be more than just a hobby for him, and has now become a fully-fledged passion.


Visit also THE MALTESE GALLERY’s interview here:


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Rough seas chip away at Azure Window

It is a pity to see such an iconic Maltese landmark on Gozo’s coastline being eroded so fast by the forces of nature. Whilst honestly feeling deep down that it was inevitable over time that it would happen like so and disappear forever, it only exemplifies the awesome inmeasurable powers of mother nature in the face of our frail humanity.


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05/01/17 – The Coldstream Guards were joined by the world’s smallest Guardsman at Windsor Castle: watch to the end.

Video contributed by Guardsman Lall, via British Army in London – HQ London District’s social media webpage on FACEBOOK, at URL https://www.facebook.com/ArmyInLondon/videos/1305778586152284

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Cold snap hits Malta: put on pyjamas & get cosy under a quilt



Put on pyjamas and get cosy under a quilt, health officials tell elderly

Cold snap hits Malta:
Be sure to stay warm, health officials have told the elderly.

Put on slippers and pyjamas, snuggle up under a quilt and be sure to have a heater running, the Health Standards directorate has urged elderly people.

Malta is currently in the throes of a cold snap that is expected to drag the mercury down to 5ºC tomorrow, and health officials are particularly concerned about the impact the cold could have on elderly citizens.

Elderly people should:
– Ensure rooms are no colder than 21ºC during the day and 18ºC at night
– Keep enough heaters, blankets and quilts handy to stay warm
– Wear pyjamas and slippers
– Avoid the outdoors, coffee and alcohol
– Eat regular meals, drink warm drinks and wear layers of clothing

A circular with this advice has been sent to elderly people’s homes, the directorate said.

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TV news filming ethics code at funerals



“. . .  Appalling to see that One News dispatched a camera crew to film the funeral of a traffic accident victim.

At a stretch, it could be justified in filming the departure of the cortege, and the race cars that followed it – friends of the deceased – but surely not inside the church?

The family of Matthew Azzopardi demonstrated admirable restraint as high-wattage lamps and TV cameras were trained on their grief-stricken faces, while they said their final farewells to a son and brother taken too soon. 

Ghoulish voyeurism and mawkish sentimentality wrapped up in the paper-thin defence of “it’s a public event” or “it’s a human interest story” may get ratings and clicks, but they do not a news item make. 

Only in the topsy-turvy parallel universe that is Malta is it OK to make a media circus out of a person’s funeral simply because that person’s death had been mentioned in the news.

Hyenas. Isthu jekk tafu kif. . . .”




Guidelines for Covering Funerals

When journalists cover funerals, they must do so with the highest degree of sensitivity and professionalism. Although stories of funerals can be deeply moving, newsworthy and even healing for an audience, there is great potential for journalists to intrude on a family’s privacy and cause pain to already vulnerable people.

What is the journalistic purpose? Beyond the emotions of the event, why is this funeral newsworthy? What do we expect to hear and/or see that our public needs to know? What motivations do you have for covering the service?

Who is the individual? Is this person a public figure or well known? The coverage of the funeral of a head of state or a well-known figure can be important to the grieving and healing process of a community.

What were the circumstances of the death? The death of a person who has lived a long and productive life is commemorated differently from the death of a young person or a person killed in an act of violence or negligence.

How welcome is media coverage? Surviving families often request and should be given privacy in their time of grief. However, sometimes families want media coverage so the deceased will not die anonymously. If the family requests your presence or grants coverage of the service, tell your audience so they know you have permission.

How to approach the surviving family: When requesting to cover a funeral, consider using a third party, such as a family friend, funeral director or member of the clergy, to approach the family for permission. Once you have the family’s permission, the funeral home or clergy may be a better contact for helping to determine your coverage plan.

Minimize intrusion: Pooling arrangements can minimize the number of journalists who have to be inside the place of worship or funeral home. Electronic devices, such as small, wireless microphones and cameras that operate in low light and have long zoom lenses, can minimize the need for journalists to be intrusive while recording a funeral service. Journalists can also get close-ups of flowers, candles and other useful shots before anyone arrives. Journalists covering funerals should dress appropriately, plan to arrive early and stay until the service is completed. Photojournalists should minimize their physical movement inside the service and do their work as unobtrusively as possible.

How can we tell the story without pictures? Consider alternatives to covering the actual service. Consider telling the story, for example, with the service audio running over exterior pictures of building where the service is being held.

Minimize harm: Be judicious in selecting the images you show on the air and the sound you use in the story. How would you justify the use of people crying, collapsing or grieving? What alternatives have you considered to using those highly intrusive images? If you cover the funeral service, do you also have to cover the graveside service, which can be even more emotional for those involved? How will you use the images in your newscast headlines, teases and promotions? Minimize the use of highly charged adjectives such as “tragic, emotional, painful and tearful.”

Bud Spencer's funeral at the basilica of Santa Maria in Montesanto in Roma – better known as the Chiesa degli artists, 30 June 2016 (TIZIANA FABI/AFP/Getty Images)

Bud Spencer’s funeral at the basilica of Santa Maria in Montesanto in Roma – better known as the Chiesa degli artists, 30 June 2016 (TIZIANA FABI/AFP/Getty Images)

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Cold weather alert


Cold weather alert


A spell of cold weather is expected over the coming days and temperatures are expected to drop significantly. The effects of cold can be severe, in particular for those who are over 65 years, have a long term illness, or are not mobile.
It is advisable that those in the above category to have plenty of warm food and drinks and to try to maintain indoor temperatures to at least 18degrees. Drawing the window curtains at dusk will help to keep the heat in. If mobility isn’t an issue, it is also advisable to keep active.
This is also the time to think about how the cold temperatures may affect your friends and family, particularly if they are older, living alone, very young or have long term health conditions as they are particularly at risk from the ill-effects of cold. Think now what you could do to help them and ensure they have access to warm food, drinks and managing to heat their homes adequately.
The Ministry for Health reminds that the seasonal flu vaccine is still available free of charge for all Maltese residents and is available from all Health Centres.

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2017’s challenges are the remaining ailments of 2016

We are barely into the new year, and 2017 already poses itself in my eyes to be no better than 2016.

Am not just referring to the Maltese road deaths’ statistics, which notched their first victim in the earliest hours of the new year, but rather to the helpless sense of security at an international level when we see the terrorist attacks successfully perpetrated against the reveling civil society in Turkey over these festive holidays.

Admittedly, nobody feels safe travelling to anywhere these days, on both sides of the Atlantic pond, and especially to places in the Arab world or elsewhere beyond the known powers of democracy or Western cultures’ values and morals on life, decency and other we take so much for granted here.

Naturally, it is easy to blame the major powers’ interventions by proxy in several hotspots, by stoking the animosity between factions, by labeling one party as more righteous, deserving or legitimate than the other/s on the opposite side. And that not just by podium spewed rhetoric, but also by providing weapons, consultant boots-on-the-ground expertise and associated top notch hardware, or economic sanctions to ball bust one side through resolutions and proclamations.

On the other hand, the new trendy neo-liberalism of treehugging orators are sacrificing basic centuries honed notions of national security for sake of political correctness, embracing anybody anytime anyhow running away from such zones of upheaval and strife.

That in all this mess of humanity, the upsurging economic prosperity of some around us and ourselves isn’t bothering us in the least as being a temporary bubble of financial opiate giving us a high,  is really blissfully procrastinating the doom and gloom which history teaches when it comes round its full circle.

And some wise folks are so stockpiling for such emergencies, just like the threat of a nuclear holocaust is round the corner: be it tinned foodstuffs or fuels, it’s also ammunition, weapons and bog rolls too. World War Z virus apocalyptic scenarios and general world pandemonium panic immediately spring to mind.

Scenes of school age kids, brandishing weapons and dressed up in militant uniforms, instead of the tools of learning and play are not reassuring either. We are not preparing them in the Western world for what some powers are secretly harping at in their secret agendas.

J’accuse the younger generations as being the “playstation generation”, of not being capable of thinking without tech or perform without tech, when fire can be made by rubbing two sticks and information researched also in plain books without the ease or speed of Google!

Am so thinking we have given up, favouring the quick and easy fix instead of the character building ways that sorted the weak from the strong. Muzzling in the statement on facts is just like denying  freedom of speach.

Those modifying societal behaviours are textbook supressors of reality of the grim Orwellian kind. The quick branding of messengers by deriding them or the thoughts and observations made doesn’t cancel events from history or manage to muzzle other minds to voice things out. Fact remains, the liberty of speach is the right to tell people simply what they don’t want to hear.

Enough from me: I’ll end my rant here for now, as too much negativity is bad for the soul and spirit! Yet, read more from Prof. Stephen Hawking on this link in the Guardian (https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/dec/01/stephen-hawking-dangerous-time-planet-inequality?CMP=fb_gu)

But, heck: I promised more here and this is one effort!

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Best wishes for 2017

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