Freedom of the Press
While freedom of the press is protected by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, it is in serious jeopardy. The business model that has sustained the media is failing – resulting in a significant loss of professional journalists and a serious decline in the media’s capacity to do the investigative reporting that is critical for public knowledge and government and corporate accountability. The work of the media in Canada is also imperilled by weak access-to-information laws, court publication bans, vexatious defamation claims, and the chilling effects of mass surveillance.
Why It Matters
Democracy depends on an independent, uncensored, diverse, professional media to inform the public, to ask difficult questions, and to foster transparency and accountability in those who wield power.
The Centre for Free Expression promotes public discussion of the importance of freedom of the press, challenges facing the institutional media, and the opportunities and limitations of social media as an alternative. It works in collaboration with journalists, media organizations and public interest groups to evaluate models for the sustainability of independent, adequately financed, investigative journalism, to press for better access-to-information legislation, to limit publication bans and to strengthen protections for free expression.
Nominations for the PEN Canada/Ken Filkow Prize have just opened. This $1,000 annual prize celebrates champions of free expression in Canada. The deadline for nominations is August 8, 2017.
As local newspapers across Canada are being downsized or shut down and the discussion increasingly turns to addressing the growing problem of fake news (indeed, the U.S.
Global coalition of non-governmental organizations supporting press freedom sent the following letter to Prime Minister Trudeau calling for passage of Bill S-231 which would provide legal protection for journalist-source privilege
Award-winning Canadian filmmaker, Peter Raymont, the film’s producer, will discuss the making of the documentary and the issues it raises.
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