Freedom of the Press

The Issue

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.

Our Work

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.


Past Event

Publication Bans vs. Press Freedom & Open Courts

Panelists: Ryder Gilliand, Alyshah Hasham, Paul Schabas, Alexi Wood

Moderator: Justin Safayeni


Call for Canada to step up its response to repression in Belarus

In a joint letter to Prime Minister Trudeau, Canadian Journalists for Free Expressi

May 26, 2021

Blog Post

JUST FACTS: What's a journalist to do about truth today?

As the meaning of "fact" continues to morph, reporters' routines and assumptions need refreshing, too. One key ingredient: humility 

By Ivor Shapiro

Blog Post

UNWANTED QUESTIONS: Skepticism, not objectivity, is what makes journalism matter

Democracies need reporters who follow their curiosity, ask uninhibited questions, and tell unwelcome stories. 

By Ivor Shapiro


Ag-Gag Laws & the Public’s Right to Know

Panelists: Robert Cribb, Jodi Lazare, Richard Moon

Moderator: Cara Zwibel