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

Racial Politics in the post George Floyd Era

Panelists: Desmond Cole, El Jones, Adolph Reed, Jr.

Moderator: Vershawn Young

Past Event

Press freedom in Canada - What about student journalists?

Panelists: Spencer Izen, Jessica Kim

Discussant: Danielle McLaughlin

Moderator: James L. Turk

Past Event

When and how should non-Indigenous reporters cover an Indigenous story?

Panelists: Willow Fiddler, Brandi Morin

Moderator: Duncan McCue

Past Event

Putin's War on Journalists

Panelists: Ekaterina Kotrikadze, Alexey Kovalev, Maxim Trudolyubov, Chris Brown

Moderator: Julian Sher

Past Event

Afghanistan: The War Against Journalists

Panelists: Sadaf Ahmadzai, Shakor Kamran, Makia Monir, Rachel Pulfer, Shogofa Sediqi

Moderator: Julian Sher