Norma Saliba, who was edged out of the TVM newsroom last month, has been given a new government job as executive director of a new state-run agency.

The "Centre of [sic] the Maltese Language" will serve as the “administrative,  organisational and operational organ of the National Council of the Maltese Language,” according to a legal notice published on Friday.

Saliba was appointed to lead the centre by Culture Minister Owen Bonnici, who said the new agency would “make a difference in safeguarding the Maltese language, especially within digital spheres”.

According to legal notice 201/23, the Saliba-led centre will serve as the executive organ of the National Council of the Maltese Language and assist it in promoting the use of Maltese “through collaborations, publications and the utilisation of the internet and digital tools”.

A Culture Ministry press release that announced Saliba's appointment - as well as the creation of the new agency - noted that Saliba had won a journalism award in 2015 for her good use of Maltese.  

Saliba lands the job just weeks after she resigned as TVM head of news, three years into the job and following reports of clashes with the broadcaster’s executive chairman, Mark Sammut.

When she announced her resignation, Saliba said she had been targeted by a “character assassination campaign”, without elaborating.

Saliba has a long history within the Maltese media sector. She cut her teeth as a sports reporter at Labour-owned media outlet ONE before moving to PBS, where she worked as a producer, newscaster and journalist.

She then briefly moved into public relations, serving as the spokesperson of President George Vella, before returning to PBS as its head of news and editor in 2020.

Saliba also served as president of the Institute of Maltese Journalists – the first woman to be nominated to that role.

Her time as PBS head was turbulent: aside from several complaints about political bias, she also faced internal power struggles and lost her post as TVM’s editor in 2021.

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