She was extremely well known and popular in Malta. Her blog entries sometimes attracted more readers than the combined circulation of Malta's newspapers. The website Politico has described here as "a one woman wiki leaks."
Her work focused on rooting out corruption and holding politicians accountable. Her work focused not only on politicians, but also on banks that facilitated money laundering, and Malta's online gaming industry and it's links to organized crime. In the past several years she had written extensively about revelations regarding Maltese politicians that came from Panama Papers. Her work on the Panama Papers is credited with causing Malta's Prime Minister, Joseph Muskat, to have to go to the polls a year early.
No group has claimed responsibility for the attack, but many speculate that it was likely connected with her reporting. Unfortunately, publicly exposing corruption and wrongdoing can sometimes be dangerous. But the work of journalists like Galizia is vitally important in holding people accountable for their actions and in reducing corruption. We've seen a lot of anti-corruption actions throughout the world in the past few years, and and active press is an important factor in continuing that trend. The release of the Panama Papers and the work of journalists like Galizia who use such resources to hold the powerful to account is an example of the important work that journalists do in fighting corruption. The Panama Papers have become one of the first databases Smith Brandon International checks whenever we conduct an investigation of a person or company, and we have always checked media on any subject we investigate, often finding new leads and pieces of information on people and companies we investigate from the work of journalists.
Daphne Caruana Galizia was also the mother of developer and data journalist Mathew Caruana Galizia who works for the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), the group that first released the Panama Papers in 2016. The ICIJ has released a statement on the death of Galizia. In part they say:
ICIJ condemns violence against journalists and is deeply concerned about freedom of the press in Malta. ICIJ calls upon the Maltese authorities to investigate the murder and bring the perpetrators to justice. ICIJ’s thoughts are with the Caruana Galizia family at this time.An investigation is underway into the death of Daphne Caruana Galizia. We will be paying close attention to developments in this story.