Free Expression

Free expression. Source protection. Access to information. All of these are essential to democracy and an open society.

Latest News

Open letter to PM Justin Trudeau concerning the online hate and harassment of journalists - The Right Honourable Justin Trudeau, P.C., M.P.Prime Minister of Canada80 Wellington StreetOttawa, ON, K1A 0A2 Delivered by email  Dear Prime Minister Trudeau, We are writing in relation to the increasing and alarming online hate and harassment targeting journalists and journalism as a profession. This is a global problem, which threatens not only the safety and well-being of journalists, but the proper functioning of democracy itself. Many countries are now working on plans to fight back. We are calling on Canadian police and policymakers to do the same.    For the most part, these attacks are aimed at racialized and female journalists who are experiencing an increasing number of targeted, vile threats of violence. The trend is clear. In a 2021 Ipsos survey of journalists, 72 per cent of respondents said they had experienced some form of online harassment. At the time, the CAJ co-signed a statement with many Canadian media organizations, affirming that “there can be no tolerance for hate and harassment of journalists or for incitement of attacks on journalists for doing their jobs.” Yet the problem grows. The volume and nature of the rhetoric in the recent string of attacks has caused many journalists, as well as their respective organizations, to fear for their [...]
World Press Freedom Day graphic World Press Freedom Day message from CWA Canada President Martin O’Hanlon - We mark World Press Freedom Day in the midst of a disturbing rise in anti-media harassment. We have long fought for press freedom overseas. But now our fight is also on the home front, and it’s not against an authoritarian government — it’s against some of our fellow Canadians. In the last year, many journalists, including CWA Canada members, have been receiving vile sexist and racist comments and threats on social media, usually by right-wing trolls. Women and people of colour, in particular, have been targeted. We also witnessed disgusting behaviour during the so-called “freedom convoy” in Ottawa and across the country as some of our colleagues were intimidated, swarmed, cursed and spat at, and even assaulted. Journalism is a pillar of democracy. If journalists feel threatened doing their jobs, important stories may go untold, and democracy is undermined. This harassment and hate must not be tolerated. It is vital that journalists are protected. We have been working with journalism groups, the labour movement, academics and employers on a strategy to stop the campaign of hate. Our coalition, led by the Canadian Association of Journalists, released a report on the problem in February. We are also part of the Canada Press Freedom Project which will [...]
Online hate is damaging journalists, democracy: report - The Canadian Association of Journalists (CAJ) and the Canadian Journalism Foundation (CJF) have released Poisoned Well, the troubling findings of an industry roundtable on journalists and online hate.  “Freedom of the press is integral to a healthy democracy,” says Natalie Turvey, CJF President and Executive Director. “The online abuse suffered by too many journalists today goes well beyond critical discourse and, in many cases, harms their safety and well-being in the workplace. This report is a call to action to our industry, government officials and the broader Canadian public.”  The CAJ and Carleton University held the roundtable on Oct. 21 in response to repeated instances of Canadian journalists, particularly women and racialized media, being targeted with online hate and harassment. Freedom to Report As the so-called truckers’ convoy drags on and disrupts, journalists and crews are once again being subjected to abusive treatment by those who now feel emboldened and entitled  to break free of the restrictive measures which have ensnared all of us for the past two years.   Commentary by Kim Trynacity, CBC Branch President, Canadian Media Guild (CWA Canada Local 30213)   Commissioned by the CJF, the report shares the findings of that roundtable with the broader public. [...]
Media groups demand immediate release of 2 journalists, minister rein in RCMP - Hon. Marco MendicinoMinister of Public Safety Dear Minister Mendicino, As we write this letter, two Canadian journalists are being held by police under your jurisdiction for doing their jobs. This moment demands your involvement to immediately release journalists Amber Bracken and Michael Toledano, and to bring about a swift resolution respecting journalists’ fundamental rights. The national police force has repeatedly acted well beyond the law when dealing with members of the media, in defiance of court rulings. We ask you to exercise your oversight responsibility to correct these serious violations forthwith. As you are aware, Amber Bracken and Michael Toledano were illegally arrested on Nov. 19 while reporting on the construction of a contentious natural gas pipeline in Wet’suwet’en territory in northern British Columbia. They were within the court injunction area — which court decision after court decision has affirmed journalists’ right to access — when the RCMP took them into custody and confiscated their belongings and equipment. The RCMP stated the reason for arresting the two was because they had “embedded” with the protesters, which has never been illegal in Canada. Newfoundland and Labrador Supreme Court Justice Derek Green affirmed these rights when he found in favour of journalist [...]
Allan Thompson, journalism professor Players in news industry join up to tackle onslaught of online hate - DEBORAH RICHMOND | Web Editor Representatives from every corner of the news industry are coming together to call for action and to develop a strategy to thwart a tsunami of hate targeting Canadian journalists, especially women and people of colour. CWA Canada President Martin O’Hanlon said the media union is working with journalism groups, the labour movement, academics and employers to put a stop to the vile sexist and racist comments and threats delivered via social media, email, voicemail and internet forums. “This is illegal. It is harassment and hate, and it must not be tolerated,” O’Hanlon said in a statement issued Oct. 5. “As a union that represents 6,000 media workers, we call on law enforcement to urgently investigate these incidents and prosecute those responsible.” CWA Canada was also a signatory to a statement issued by media outlets across the country and organizations that represent journalists: “A strong, diverse media is vital for a well-informed, democratic society. While criticism is an integral part of journalism and democracy, there can be no tolerance for hate and harassment of journalists or for incitement of attacks on journalists doing their jobs. “We are united in supporting our journalists and newsrooms against those [...]

Link to the full Free Expression news archive on CWA Canada

Offsite Insight

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

7 Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. Canada court rules Vice journalist must hand over ISIL notes | News | Sahifa News
  2. Canada court rules Vice journalist must hand over ISIL notes | 1 News Net
  3. Canada court rules Vice journalist must hand over ISIL notes | News
  4. Canada court rules Vice journalist must hand over ISIL notes - Euro Journal
  5. Canada court rules Vice journalist must hand over ISIL notes | News – News
  6. Canada court rules Vice journalist must hand over ISIL notes | Lowmiller Consulting Group Blog
  7. Canada court rules Vice journalist must hand over ISIL notes - Al Jazeera English – WSQ News

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