A year ago, Maltese journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia was killed by a car bomb.
Her murder is still unsolved, and her work was unfinished — until 45 journalists from across the world took up the investigations she started. For the past six months, a group called Forbidden Stories, which continues the work of journalists who have been killed or silenced, has been following Galizia's leads.
Last week, five members of the European Parliament called for the European Commission to back an investigation into Galizia's murder, citing revelations from Forbidden Stories' work, "The Daphne Project."
Here & Now's Robin Young learns more from Laurent Richard (@laurentrichard0), executive director and founder of Forbidden Stories.
On the goals of The Daphne Project
"The work of The Daphne Project was not only about, to identify who might be the killers, but also to complete the stories of Daphne. And to complete her very critical work. Because her stories [were] about sensitive issues like corruption, organized crime. So that's why we decided to complete the work of Daphne ... "
"We have to send this powerful signal to the enemies of the press: 'You kill the messenger; you will never kill the message.' "Laurent Richard
On what inspired him to take up this work
"In 2015 … two terrorists of al-Qaida in Yemen arrived in the streets where the offices of the company where I was working for ... in Paris, and they entered the building and they killed the Charlie Hebdo newsroom, and we were sharing the same floor. They were the door right next to ours. And this day, I just arrived two minutes after the terrorists escaped the building … And then I was the first to discover my friends and colleagues of Charlie Hebdo just dying, or just already dead. And we did our best to help the people who were survivors. So, this literally changed my life, because this was happening in Paris … It was about colleagues I know, and who were doing exactly the same work as me, the same job. They were journalists, and they were killed for a story they were able to publish. And so it was really a traumatic experience, and it took a lot of time to recover, of course, for that, and trying to forget some very difficult pictures.
"But on that day I decided, what [can I] do as a journalist to continue the work of murdered reporters, to keep stories alive? And usually when a journalist is dying for one story, that probably means that the story is very relevant to the public opinion. It's very important to continue, and to keep these stories alive."
On how Forbidden Stories is defending the freedom of the press
"We are really facing a lot of threats … and I think that the only response, which is very efficient, it's a global and collaborative response. Collaboration brings protection. If you are working together, if the killer will see that there is a group of journalists ready to complete the investigation and to expose their crimes, then they will probably think twice the next time they would think about killing one reporter. … We have to send this powerful signal to the enemies of the press: 'You kill the messenger; you will never kill the message,' because we are here to make sure people get access to these very important stories. So yes, there is a lot of work. We need some support. There are a lot of journalists who have been killed. There are a lot of forbidden stories behind that we need to publish … And a journalist who is dying is not just a number. We're talking about important stories, important information that some people wanted to hide, some people wanted to silence."
"I do think that journalism can defend journalism."Laurent Richard
On whether or not this work has helped him move past the Charlie Hebdo attack
"I'm not doing that for being able to forget those ... different kinds of pictures. But it's really helpful, because I think that I wanted to do something as a journalist. And so by doing that, I think I can bring on the table my skills as an investigative reporter to defend press freedom. And I do think that journalism can defend journalism, and that's probably the most efficient way to make sure people get access to this information. So, yeah, for me it's very important to continue the work and to convince all the partners to be on board on the new project we are starting."
This segment aired on October 16, 2018.
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