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Friday, April 02, 2010


This month six years ago I started blogging. Throughout this time I've used Blogger to enable me to publish my new posts in my personal website. For the last several months, however, I've become a WordPress user for everything but my own blog. It's time to switch. 

I'm being shoved towards a faster switch by the simple fact that Blogger will no longer allow me to creat blog posts to my website in exactly the same way I've done since April 2004. I love change but I prefer it to come on my own terms. 

This post goes against the experimental thought I expressed in my last blog post but I can assure you that it's only the Easter holidays that are keeping me away from embracing that idea completely. 

Meanwhile here are some details about this week's podcast. I'll sort it out as soon as most people aren't able to see another figolla.

    Toni Sant presents the 206th in a series of podcasts featuring music by performers in or from Malta. [in Maltese]

Artists featured in this podcast:

  • Christabelle Curmi
  • Hooligan
  • Sandro Cassar
  • Tony Gauci

    >> Details about this podcast [in English]

    See also:
    - MMI Podcast: Facebook Fan Page

    - More links to music websites from Malta

    - Toni Sant on | @tonisant on Twitter

    - MaltaMedia Online Network

    (MP3 filesize: 13 MB)

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  • Wednesday, February 03, 2010

    Sign O The Times

    A couple of weeks ago my friend Ariadne Massa, Chief Sub-Editor and long standing journalist with The Times (of Malta), asked me to answer some questions on "on how the changes in technology impact the media business in Malta" for an in-house diploma organised by her newspaper bosses.

    In the spirit of this blog and everything it has come to represent over the last 6 years, I asked Ariadne to reproduce her questions and my answers right here on my blog. Feel free to comment at the bottom of this blog post.

    1. There has been an emergence of citizen journalism. What do you believe is the impact this has on the way traditional journalists report?

    I believe that traditional journalists look at citizen journalism in one of two ways. The first way is to ignore it as something not worthy of their attention; how can someone without the proper training, professional experience or ample resources do what they do? The other way is for them to pillage and plunder whatever they can get from citizen journalism to fill their pages and airtime. By extension, I'd say that traditional reporting has been impacted depending on the approach adopted out of these two camps. Those ignoring it do it at their own peril and lack of respect for their audience. Those who get it realize that their profession is no longer as privileged as it once was.

    2. Does citizen journalism provide a clearer picture of the news or is it unaccountable vigilantism?

    I think it does both these things. It cuts through the stylistic way the news reports what's going on to give perspectives that are unheard of in traditional journalism. At the same time, if anyone can say anything they want, then that's exactly what's bound to happen too. However, I'd stress that it's not one or the other. Both are possible at the same time, in varying measures.

    3. Abroad, newspapers have been dealt a blow by the internet, but this does not seem to be the case in Malta. What do you believe distinguishes us from other countries?

    Size. Parochialism. (Ir)Relevance. Lack of updated higher education. Isolation. Misplaced pride. Nostalgia. Complacency. How about all of the above?

    4. The newspaper industry is under siege from new media. What do you forecast will happen to newspapers by 2020?

    Fewer people will want to read a newspaper printed on paper but they will not stop wanting to get the news that's relevant to them. Also, the newspaper industry will continue to realize that the newsprint cycle is no longer in step with contemporary lifestyles. Front page news at any early hour of the morning will continue to become more and more irrelevant as it's reporting something we've already heard about as it happened or through other media available on demand, where and when we want them.

    5. What do you believe newspapers should do to face the challenges ahead?

    Answers to this question depend in large part on the size of the newspaper and the community it serves. I don't think I can give a decent answer to this question here and (with all due respect to the interviewer) I wouldn't really want to unless I was being paid or given proper professional credit for it.

    6. Please feel free to add any other comments which you feel are relevant.

    What the newspaper industry really needs to realize is that the intermediary role it once served is being relegated to the junkyard of history. The industrial age, which gave us the newspaper industry, is being superseded by what some call the information age, where information wants to be free. By free we mean both as in no cost and as in freedom, of course.

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    Saturday, November 14, 2009


    Something pretty unusual happened this week but for some odd reason I can't really remember what it was. All I remember when it happened is thinking it would be good to include this on my blog. It seems silly to say this here but Twitter has made blogging about moments rather than significant ideas unnecessary Micro-blogging is a far better way to share moments than blogs are. Blogging remains for meaningful events and elaborate ideas...but "meaningful" and "elaborate" are obviously relative.

    For me, and hopefully for most of the people who will read this, my weekly Mużika Mod Ieħor podcast embodies both a meaningful event and an elaborate idea. Yes, I may be overstating the importance of my podcasts, but I honestly receive far too many appreciative comments to believe that several listeners appreciate the MMI series for what it is.

    The 188th podcast in the series features something I've rarely done in previous editions. Ally (that's Alison Ellul) is about to release her third single on Wednesday 18 November. A preview of I Remember is certainly in order, but so is an airing of her previous song Do You Miss Me?, which came to my attention mainly through its well-crafted music video. I'm nominating both tracks for the 2009 MMI Listeners' Picks poll, soon to be launched for public voting over on Facebook.

    Crimean rapper Dimal has managed build himself a respectable following in the Maltese pop scene. He is known generally as the Russian rapper and it's an image that suits him well. His most recent single feature the extraordinary vocal talents of Maddee Dargue who is establishing herself in Malta as a professional cocal and phonetics teacher after years of working in the recording industry in the UK. Her voice most certainly makes Dimal's song Nothing's Gonna Hurt Us worth hearing more than once.

    Baz and Max Cilia established the UK-based folky band Spriggan Mist some time ago. I featured their music on previous editions of the MMI podcast and they now return, as a larger band, with a new recording from an album they're planning to release next year. The song is called Indigo Child and features Max's untainted voice front and centre. You will not easily forget this song, even if you're not particularly fond of this style of music.

    Simply because deep contrast makes for an interesting series I never shy away from mixing genres, especially extremes from the edges of the spectrum. With a name like Loathe you certainly wouldn't expect another folky band to close this week's podcast would you? Loathe have been on the forefront of the hardcore Maltese metal scene for a number of years now. They are working releasing an album called Despondent By Design, which should be their 4th CD since 2003. They just come off a the Dark Design Tour with fellow metalheads Slab playing in various UK cities and appeared at Rookies with BNI last night for a Friday the 13th gig that undoubtedly went down well with local rockers. Their next gig will take place at Remedy on the 27th of November with Slit sharing the bill. This Resepect is an excellent sampler from the upcoming Loathe album and it's a very fitting way to bring this week's podcast to a close.

    The RSS feed for the Mużika Mod Ieħor podcast is available here or you can simply click here to subscribe directly with iTunes. You can also follow each new episode through the MMI Podcast: Facebook Fan Page or on MySpace. If you have no idea what any of this means, just click here or listen to the podcast on the player right below this text. This podcast is brought to you by Vodafone.

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    Friday, June 06, 2008

    The Weight

    Überbloglord Sandro Vella is organizing a dinner for Maltese bloggers, observers, and their friends. It's at the San Remo Restaurant in Mosta next Friday. The venue was recommended/selected by fellow bloglord Jacques René Zammit. This is the first such gathering since MaltaMedia started channeling the Maltese blogosphere.

    The menu (reasonably priced €13 per person - not including drinks) includes all sorts of meat dishes, rabbit, fish and poultry. I'm a vegetarian, so I'm not attending...but that shouldn't stop you. There's a salad on offer too.

    We will undoubtedly hear more about this get together after it happens, if not before. Would you expect otherwise from bloggers?

    To book your seat at the bloggers' dinner table just email


    Wednesday, April 16, 2008

    And Your Bird Can Sing

    It's been about a week since Il-Manoċċa was launched. So far so good. It looks like the sort of blog that's actually needed for the Maltese online media circus. I'm not a big fan of local politics but I can understand the interest it can generate, especially for anyone who feels that things can be better. Then again, things can always be better.

    In an attempt to make things ever so slightly better, prolific blogger Sandro Vella has spearheaded a Blog of the Month initiative reminiscent of the Blogger's Carnival some old-timers may remember from a couple of years ago. By his own admission, this is a bold move, but as the Italian saying goes tentare non nuoce. You can now vote for your favourite Maltese blog here.
    While it's good to see any sort of activity on the Maltese blogosphere, I disagree that this initiative should be promoted by any means necessary. That sort of thing can get great ideas killed. Never forget what happened to Malcolm X, even if this move is far less socially significant than the struggle that got him shot. There's no need to be paranoid...just don't sit with your back to the door.

    Sandro is right to think that it's not enough to just blog about an idea. It needs to be spread. As I see it, the problem with spreading something that there's (relatively) so little of is that it can be spread too thin.

    On a related note, I'm quite pleased to see MaltaGirl blogging fairly regularly again now that she's sort of settled into her new lifestyle. She's the undisputed queen of the Maltese blogosphere. I'm also very glad to see that a Ħsejjes 2 blog has emerged in recent days bringing back on of the Maltese bloggers' darlings; it doesn't get more real than Ħsejjes.

    All this bodes well for the Maltese blogosphere, especially since its death knell was supposedly heard by many some time ago. To believe that the Maltese blogoshere is dead is to believe that Malta can ever be a participatory democracy where diverging opinions are given a significant voice to state their point of view as openly as possible.


    Friday, April 11, 2008

    Free Bird

    A new collective blog called Il-Manoċċa was launched yesterday by a group of Maltese men seeking an alternative outlet for their progressive ideas. I equate most white wines with cat piss but anyone who cares to reproduce anything by Marcel Duchamp wins me over even without any inebriating libations.

    I seriously doubt that the men of Il-Manoċċa were invited to air their views on this evening's edition of Xarabank. Malta's most popular TV show focused on the Internet as we used to know it before we came to really know it as we do now. It's a pity that the programme felt like it was thrown together by people who are out of touch with the most recent developments. As a matter of fact, just as with the moon, there's no dark side of the Internet, it's all dark. Or is it?

    I've been wanting to find some time to blog about the Maltese blogosphere for quite some time. This is not it but I must mention the wonderful buzz created by some Maltese blogs during the recent general elections and the ensuing aftermath. Bloglords Jacques, Sandro and Fausto are at the top of the list, of course. Then again I'm also pleased (if that's the right word) by the serious case of bloggorrhea on Daphne's Running Commentary.

    Anyway, this is just a brief blog entry to remind myself and my readers that I once blogged about more than my weekly music podcast. It also reminds me why I've chosen to set aside less of my time for general blogging and more time on my music podcast. Perhaps Il-Manoċċa will alter this slightly in the coming weeks and months. Then again, with all due respect to the men of Il-Manoċċa, I seriously doubt it.


    Monday, March 26, 2007

    When Will I Be Famous?

    This past weekend Olivia Lewis launched her personal blog about her participation in the Eurovision Song Contest. I'm chuffed that she has cited this blog as a source of inspiration to join the blogosphere.

    This gives me some time to pause and think about the state of the Maltese blogosphere, which has swollen well beyond what it was just one year ago when most bloggers knew each other and followed each other's blogs regularly.

    Unlike other pundits I'm not too concerned by what people say or don't say in their blogs. The medium is the message. Just the fact that people have blogs is noteworthy in itself. People have the power to say what they want and potentially be heard by people who would otherwise not have access to their thoughts. That's the most interesting thing about blogging as far as I'm concerned.

    Back to Olivia Lewis: I enjoyed reading the interview she gave to the Schlagerboys, which they published on the same day that she launched her blog. I was hoping she would mention it on her own blog so that more people can cherish the contagious zeal of the Shalgerboys. At the same time I can see that Olivia is eager to post entries that would not appear elsewhere. Her blog will be the place to visit if you want to know what's going through her mind as she prepares to sing her heart out in Helsinki this May.

    It appears that Olivia's blog could feature a daily entry. I'm sure her numerous fans would appreciate that very much. Perhaps it's also a good way to gather new fans, especially ones who could vote for her at the Eurovision Song Contest semi-final on May 10.

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