World Press Freedom Day message from CWA Canada President Martin O’Hanlon
This World Press Freedom Day we must keep up our resolve to fight the disturbing trend of anti-media harassment both at home and abroad.
Many journalists, including CWA Canada members, continue to face sexist and racist comments and other abuse on social media, usually from right-wing trolls.
It is also disturbing to hear politicians, including the leader of the Conservative Party of Canada and the premier of Alberta, irresponsibly smear and demonize journalists and reputable news organizations, most notably the CBC.
Journalism is a pillar of democracy. If journalists feel threatened doing their jobs, important stories may go untold, and democracy is undermined.
As part of our effort, CWA Canada is in a coalition led by the Canadian Association of Journalists fighting online hate. The coalition released Poisoned Well, its report on the troubling findings of an industry roundtable on journalists and online hate.
We are also part of the Canada Press Freedom Project which monitors press freedom violations across the country.
We can’t let trolls, extremists or politicians get away with their dangerous attacks. Today, and every day, please speak out when you hear anyone denigrate the media.
As journalism goes, so goes democracy.
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