Freedom of the press, a fundamental freedom under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, is the right of media to gather, publish, and distribute information and ideas without government restriction, censorship, or prior restraint. The ability of journalists to report freely on matters of public interest is crucial to a genuinely democratic society.
Can freedom of the press survive government funding of journalism? Without public funding, can the precipitous decline in the quantity and quality of journalism available to Canadians be halted, much less reversed?
On November 30, 2018, the Supreme Court of Canada rendered its decision in the closely watched VICE appeal. The big question at the heart of VICE was simple: when will courts compel the media to give police material relating to a journalist’s previously published communications with non-confidential sources for the police to use against those sources?
The Code of Silence Award for Outstanding Achievement in Government Secrecy is awarded annually to call public attention to governments, government departments and agencies that distinguish themselves by denying public access to government information to which the public has a right under access-to-information legislation.