Free Expression

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

Latest News

What Justin Brake’s recent win means for press freedom in 2019 - GRANT BUCKLER | J-Source Commentary [~] Justin Brake, a former reporter for the Newfoundland news site The Independent, wasn’t the only winner when the Newfoundland and Labrador Court of Appeal cleared him of a civil charge of contempt last week. The ruling — an encouraging one for a news media that has undergone a spate of legal battles in recent years that call into question their rights as independent watchdogs — affirms the right of journalists to do their jobs. Brake – who now works for the Aboriginal People’s Television Network – is still facing criminal charges of mischief and disobeying a court order, which the Canadian Association of Journalists has said should be dismissed immediately. So the story isn’t over. But this decision is a bit of good news, and a sorely needed one given recent examples of the law being used to make it harder for reporters to gather information firsthand. Brake was charged in October 2016 after Indigenous protesters at the Muskrat Falls hydroelectric project in Labrador broke a lock and entered the property of Nalcor Energy. He was there as a reporter covering the protests. When the protesters went through the gate, he followed the story [...]
CWA Canada renews call for Turkey to cease attacks on freedom of expression - Video produced by the Committee to Protect Journalists, which tracks the jailing of media workers in Turkey.   With yet another journalist being found guilty of “defamation and insult” on Tuesday, CWA Canada has renewed its call for Turkey to cease its attacks on freedom of expression. Martin O’Hanlon, the media union’s president, said it’s “sad and disgraceful” that Turkey, a formerly progressive democracy, is the world’s leading jailer of journalists. Pelin Ünker, a member of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, was sentenced by a court in Istanbul to 13 months in jail for her Paradise Papers investigative reports on offshore tax havens published in a Turkish newspaper. They revealed details of business dealings by the country’s former prime minister, Binali Yildirim, and his family. O’Hanlon said many Turkish journalists have been “convicted under the phony catch-all charge of insulting and slandering a public official. It’s being used more and more around the world to silence opposition. It’s sad and disgraceful.” Last March, in the wake of 25 journalists being sentenced to years in prison on false terrorism charges, O’Hanlon sent a letter to the Turkish ambassador, Selçuk Ünal, expressing CWA Canada’s “grave concern about the crackdown on freedom [...]
2019: The Fight for Press Freedom - A New Year’s message from CWA Canada President Martin O’Hanlon
Martin O'Hanlon, Ben Makuch Senators assessing human rights progress hear press freedom under serious threat - Statement by CWA Canada President Martin O’Hanlon on behalf of the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) to the Senate Standing Committee on Human Rights: Thank you for inviting me to speak about the rights of journalists as you assess progress in standing up for equality, justice and human dignity in 2018 — the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. I wish I had good news to report, but I’m sad to say that, for journalists, things are getting worse. Freedom of expression and more specifically, freedom of the press, are under serious threat around the globe. We’ve long watched governments, from Saudi Arabia to Russia to Cuba, restricting what journalists can report. But now, many serial offenders like China are cracking down even harder, using technology to quash dissent and to block the sharing of information on social media. Even more troubling, we’ve seen the rise of demagogues and ultra-conservative parties in formerly progressive countries like Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary, and the Philippines, who are openly hostile to the media. Turkey is now the world’s leading jailer of journalists with hundreds being held on trumped-up charges – and many given long jail sentences. And then there’s [...]
Press release graphic Supreme Court ruling a ‘blow to press freedom’; media union vows to fight on - OTTAWA — CWA Canada, the country’s only all-media union, is deeply disappointed with today’s Supreme Court decision ordering a reporter to hand over files to police, and is vowing to continue the fight to protect journalists’ sources. The high court upheld a lower court ruling that VICE Media reporter Ben Makuch must give the RCMP material he gathered for stories about an alleged ISIS fighter. CWA Canada President Martin O’Hanlon said the decision is bad news for freedom of the press and for democracy. “I can’t express strongly enough how troubled I am with this ruling,” O’Hanlon said. “It has potentially devastating consequences for press freedom.” “Police have an important job to do in protecting us from crime, but they cannot expect journalists to do that job for them. The media is not, nor should it ever be, an arm of the state.” “It is vital for free speech and democracy that journalists guard the anonymity of their sources. If not, sources, including whistleblowers, will be far less likely to talk to journalists knowing that they could be identified and punished. The result? Canadians will be blocked from important information and stories about matters of vital public interest.” O’Hanlon vowed [...]

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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