Up until last year, Malta’s media landscape was unique to the world. The only news sources on the island were satirical, with parody websites like those belonging to the Times of Malta and Maltatoday posting obviously fake stories about such absurd issues as new, state of the art overcrowded hospitals, and the Pope’s visit being gatecrashed by a mysterious cartoon bear.
The journalists of these news sites often try to give hints that their work is not meant to be taken seriously, mainly by posting racist, xenophobic, Christian fundamentalist and generally idiotic comments using fake names, a practice known as ‘trolling’.
However, they often end up trying too hard, with the comments being too stupid to actually be mistaken for real opinions.
“Beyond silly” is how one senior BBC editor once described the state of Malta’s journalism.
Bis-Serjetà (‘Seriously’ in English) seeks to combat this rampant silliness with completely stern, straight-faced, shirt-buttoned-all-the-way-to-the-top reporting.
Led by Karl Stennienibarra, ‘BS’ has been setting the benchmark for po-faced journalism ever since it reported that Queen Elizabeth II had accidentally gifted Malta to the newly-wed Prince William and Kate Middleton in April 2011.
Aside from its commitment to being serious, BS also prides itself on being the only news organisation, serious or otherwise, that is completely free from bias. This is possible because we are funded by non-Maltese entities. Our funding comes entirely from an Estonian arms dealer who prefers to remain anonymous, and from the pocket money of Kamal Bin Shadeen, the 5-year old grandson of the Emir of Kuwait.
BS also excels in the field of photojournalism, perhaps most notably capturing Lawrence Gonzi’s solution to the Arriva debacle, and documenting Franco Debono’s antics in a parallel universe.
Bis-Serjeta’s motto is ‘Serjetà Biss’ (Seriousness Only). We pledge to stick to this maxim…unless offered a six figure sum.