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.

Resources
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Podcast: The Future of Investigative Journalism is Here

A new model for investigative reporting is emerging in Canada with a unique mandate: replace journalistic competition with collaboration. 


Podcast: All Governments Lie: Film & Discussion

Award-winning Canadian filmmaker, Peter Raymont, the film’s producer, will discuss the making of the documentary and the issues it raises.


Podcast: Journalists, Free Expression & Mexico's War on Drugs

An inside look at what’s happening to journalists and free expression in Mexico, which, since 2006, has become one of the world's most dangerous countries for journalists.


Podcast: Is it time for journalists to abandon the ideal of neutrality?

Traditionally journalists have been expected to be neutral, non-partisan, and dispassionate in relation to the stories they cover. But is that possible? Does it serve the public interest?