Free expression. Source protection. Access to information. All of these are essential to democracy and an open society.
Labour Day message from CWA Canada President Martin O’Hanlon - Dear fellow CWA Canada members, For the first time in memory, we will not be marching this Labour Day. But we will not be silent. As we mourn our fellow media workers and the many others who have lost their lives due to the pandemic, we will pay tribute to those who continue to provide vital news and information, often risking their own health to do so. We will shout to defend quality jobs, quality journalism, a vibrant free press, a strong, independent labour movement and to demand racial, economic and social equality. Unfortunately, many regimes around the world are using the pandemic as yet another excuse to crack down on press freedom, labour unions, and democracy. And the struggle for equality continues, reinvigorated by the Black Lives Matter movement. This Labour Day, we vow to keep up the fight against injustice of all kinds: We will publicly call out governments and bad actors to embarrass them into behaving better. We will use social media to educate and rally the public by sharing information about fake news, disinformation, and hate, while promoting trusted, reliable news sources. We will support Black Lives Matter and other movements fighting for equality. We will [...] Media union says Canada denying entry to Danish journalist ‘troubling, unacceptable’ - CWA Canada is calling a decision by border officials to deny entry to a Danish journalist “troubling” and “unacceptable” and wants Public Safety Minister Bill Blair to look into the matter. Kristian Lindhardt, who has been working for the Danish public broadcaster DR on a documentary about Indigenous resistance to the Trans Mountain pipeline project in B.C., arrived at the Vancouver airport on Friday with his press credentials and a 14-day quarantine plan. After a day of questioning, The Tyee reported, border officials forced him to return to Copenhagen, ostensibly because of concerns about the coronavirus. “Journalism is of vital importance, particularly in times of crisis, and using COVID as an excuse to block a journalist is simply unacceptable,” CWA Canada President Martin O’Hanlon said. “It is especially troubling because COVID is being used by many regimes as yet another way to crack down on press freedom, and Canada should be setting a positive example for the world.” “The Canada Border Security Agency has not provided a valid reason why Mr. Lindhardt has been denied entry and so it appears like he is being targeted because of his journalistic work. I urge the CBSA to reverse this decision, and I [...] CAJ: Alberta Press Gallery has a duty and a right to determine access - TORONTO, Aug. 18, 2020 /CNW/ — This past Sunday, the national board of the Canadian Association of Journalists (CAJ) gathered for a regular meeting. One of our main agenda items was to discuss the recent news of the Alberta Legislative Press Gallery’s refusal to issue memberships to employees of Rebel News. Late last week, Postmedia announced its extraordinary decision to pull its newspapers from the press gallery. While the CAJ respects their prerogative to operate their newsrooms as they see fit, we are concerned this decision could place its journalists in a difficult position to adequately serve the public. Press galleries are independent self-regulatory bodies that have long been part of Canadian legislatures. They are recognized by the speaker to oversee the press accreditation process and other rules for legislative journalists. Press galleries have a right and responsibility to admit as members only those who meet their standards and definitions for journalism, so long as the process is transparent and fair. In 2016, the Alberta government requested a review in the wake of the controversial decision by the then NDP-led government to block access to the legislature to members of Rebel News. Heather Boyd, a former Western Canadian bureau chief [...] CWA Canada asks OPP to retract threat, apologize to CBC reporter - Aug. 4, 2020 Commissioner Thomas Carrique Ontario Provincial Police Dear Commissioner Carrique, I am writing on behalf of CWA Canada, the country’s only all-media union, to express my deep concern about an incident involving one of our members, CBC reporter Colin Butler. Specifically, I was shocked to hear that an OPP officer threatened Butler with harassment charges for doing his journalistic duty: “Police told a CBC News reporter he would be charged with harassment if Pitter, who is a public official, was contacted again in regard to this story.” Here is the link to the full CBC story: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/london/ontario-nurse-covid-19-conspiracy-social-media-1.5659338. It is the professional and legal obligation of all journalists to attempt to contact the subject of a story, even if that requires repeated efforts. Failure to do so could result in legal action from a subject or discipline by an employer. And the Supreme Court of Canada has stated that “it is inherently unfair to publish defamatory allegations of fact without giving the target an opportunity to respond.” For an OPP officer to threaten a journalist for doing their job is inappropriate, unacceptable, and likely illegal. It is also a threat to our democracy. I call on you to investigate this matter, retract the threat, and issue an [...] CWA Canada condemns attacks on media workers covering unrest in U.S. - Statement by CWA Canada President Martin O’Hanlon: We have been watching with increasing concern, and shock, as many of our media colleagues in the United States have come under attack from police in recent days simply for doing their jobs. More than 110 journalists have been arrested and assaulted by law enforcement while covering the unrest across the country, according to Harvard’s Nieman Lab. We have seen our colleagues, including fellow CWA and CWA Canada members, tear gassed, hit by rubber or pepper bullets, intimidated, and handcuffed. A CBC crew was targeted in Minneapolis on Saturday as police fired tear gas and projectiles, hitting a reporter in the shoulder. The press is a pillar of democracy and in times of trouble it is more important than ever that media workers be able to do their jobs reporting the news and chronicling history. We at CWA Canada stand in solidarity with our colleagues and call on American authorities to do their duty to defend freedom of the press, and protect and support media workers. As journalism goes, so goes democracy.
Link to the full Free Expression news archive on CWA Canada
18.12.16 The St. Catherines Standard – NPCA CAO claims reporter asking questions is ‘bullying’
18.12.14 Reporters Without Borders – RSF’s 2018 round-up of deadly attacks and abuses against journalists — figures up in all categories
18.12.13 National Observer – Press council comes down on Toronto Sun for ‘serious breach’ after false report about goats
18.12.13 Poynter – Egypt is jailing more journalists on ‘false news’ charges than anywhere else in the world
18.12.06 J-Source – When not to publish graphic images
18.12.03 The Signal – Canada finally has a source protection law — is it enough?
18.11.30 VICE News – Canadian politicians aren’t fazed by Supreme Court ruling against VICE reporter
18.11.30 J-Source – ‘Dark day’ for Canadian journalism industry after Vice ruling
18.11.30 Global News – Supreme Court decision on Vice Media a major ‘setback’ for investigative reporting in Canada: experts
18.11.14 Reporters Without Borders – Journalists in Cambodia — persecution and hell
18.11.11 CBC News – Attacks on the media are a threat to democracy, Trudeau says
18.11.09 The Guardian – Hong Kong effectively blacklists senior British journalist
18.11.05 Reporters Without Borders – US-RSF joins The Washington Post’s Press Freedom Partnership
18.11.01 The New York Times – The news is bad in Hungary
18.10.26 The Globe and Mail – Federal Conservative Party and Leader Scheer increase criticism of media and reporters
18.10.22 The London Free Press – News media leader hails journalists’ acquittal of police obstruction
18.10.19 J-Source – We cannot continue to ignore the Toronto Sun’s toxic output