Free Expression

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

Latest News

Colin Butler 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.
World Press Freedom Day message from CWA Canada President Martin O’Hanlon - We mark World Press Freedom Day this year in the most unusual of circumstances: a pandemic that has killed hundreds of thousands of people, crippled economies, and challenged democracies. We must start by mourning the media workers who have lost their lives due to COVID-19 and paying tribute to the thousands of others who continue to provide vital news and information during this public-health crisis, often at great personal risk. Now, more than ever, it is critical that people get reliable news about what’s really happening and how best to get through this crisis. At CWA Canada, we have been working relentlessly to ensure employers protect the health of staff. We have also been fighting to defend our collective agreements so that our members have some financial security, especially those who have been temporarily laid off or had their hours cut. At the same time, we recognize that employers are struggling to deal with plunging revenues and we have urged the federal government to do even more to provide relief. We also pushed successfully for federal aid for freelancers, temps, contract and other precarious workers. The current crisis has only exacerbated an already troubling situation with freedom of expression under [...]
Martin O'Hanlon at social media conference Get tough with those who suppress free expression, CWA Canada leader tells social media conference - A two-day international conference — Social Media: Challenges and Ways to Promote Freedoms and Protect Activists — that wrapped up Monday in Doha, Qatar, drew more than 250 participants ranging from human rights organizations to media and technology workers, including CWA Canada President Martin O’Hanlon. He spoke about opportunities and dangers for journalists in this presentation to the Interactive Plenary Debate: Identification of future activities to broaden civic space in the social media. * * * I am a journalist. So, in terms of our topic here – broadening the civic space in social media – I will come at it from the perspective of journalism: the vital role of the media in democracy and how important it is to protect and foster freedom of the press in the digital realm. Specifically, I want to focus on the importance of protecting and expanding the ability of journalists to use social media safely and without hindrance from governments, criminals, trolls or other parties. As I’m fond of saying: As journalism goes, so goes democracy. There have been some excellent presentations over these two days and I think all the issues and problems have been well identified so I will try not [...]
2020: Keeping Up the Fight for Press Freedom, Decent Jobs, Quality Journalism - A New Year’s message from CWA Canada President Martin O’Hanlon

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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