The Tumas Fenech Foundation for Education in Journalism or as it is known in Maltese – Fondazzjoni Tumas Fenech għall-Edukazzjoni fil-Ġurnaliżmu – was set up on 1st February 2000, on the first anniversary of the death of Tumas Fenech, founder of the Tumas Group.
The Foundation is governed by a Board of Trustees which determines its general policy and has overall responsibility for its activities, organisation and financial administration.
The Foundation centres on offering formation and training for individuals intending to join the profession or already working therein. It assists Maltese journalists to attain international professional standards, thereby enhancing the journalism professionin the Maltese Islands. More importantly, the Foundation organises National Conferences and Seminars on specific topics, which are of relevance to the profession and indeed of national interest.
The Foundation’s Board is composed of a President and five Trustees, three of whom are nominated by and represent the Tumas Group. The two others are nominated by the Institute of Maltese Journalists.A Vice-President is elected by the Trustees to chair meetings in the absence of the President. An Hon. Secretary is appointed to take minutes and co-ordinate meeting logistics.
The Board of Trustees is constituted as follows: President Emeritus of the Republic of Malta, H.E. Dr Ugo Mifsud Bonnici, as the President; Ambassador Anthony De Bono (one of three founders of the Foundation- the other two founders are Mr Joe A. Vella and Mr Mario Schiavone) as Vice-President; Mr Ray Sladden on behalf of Tumas Group; and Mr Karl Wright and Mr Roderick Agius on behalf of the Institute of Maltese Journalists. Mr Malcolm Naudi is the Hon. Secretary.
During its first meeting in the year 2000, the Board of Trustees appointed Mrs Josephine Fenech, wife of the late Tumas Fenech, as the patron of the Foundation, Dr Carmen Sammut as the Administrator of the Foundation andMr Carmel Bonello as the Chairman of the Board of Studies.
An ‘ad hoc’Board of Studies, chaired by Mr Reno Bugeja, Head of News – Public Broadcasting Services, with Dr Andrew Azzopardi – Dean of the University of Malta’s Faculty for Social Wellbeing as the Deputy, is responsible for the development of the annual course programme.
Recent courses covered topics such as basic journalism, investigative journalism, interviewing techniques, press photography, newsroom management, financial journalism, media, politics, journalism ethics and EU reporting journalism.
The year 2016 was a landmark in the annals of the Foundation’s history when it spearheaded the establishment by MCASTof the first ever Bachelor of Arts (Honours) degree course in Journalism.
The Kunsill Studenti Universitarji (KSU), the Malta University Debating Union (MUBU) and two representatives of the B.A. degree students at the Malta College of Arts, Science and Technology (MCAST) are ex official associate members of the Foundation.