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No publication ban on Pickton trial

By  •  Law

News
There will be no sweeping publication ban on the first-degree murder trial of Robert Pickton, even though the accused serial killer could face a second trial at a later date. A British Columbia judge made the ruling Dec. 14, 2006, after lawyers for news organizations argued a ban would effectively mean one of the biggest murder cases in Canadian history would be tried in secret. Read the Canadian Press report.

The British Columbia Supreme Court has posted a summary of publication bans in force for Pickton’s trial, as well as procedures for journalists seeking access to hearings and exhibits.
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Cameras could come to Ontario courtrooms

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News
Television cameras are generally barred from Ontario’s courtrooms, but an August 2006 report recommends partial lifting of the ban. “Our justice system is ready for its close-up,” says Attorney General Michael Bryant, who endorses the recommendation and believes cameras will eventually be permitted in courtrooms across Canada. CBC News reports. The recommendation is one of many designed to improve media access to Ontario’s courts. Read the report of the Panel on Justice and the Media.
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Internet media law 101

By  •  Law

Backgrounder
The Internet has changed the landscape of Canadian media law, but the rules that govern what appears in the traditonal media also apply online. A primer on defamation law, publication bans and copyright on the Internet, as well as the restrictions on accessing child pornography.
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Canadian libel law chills free speech on Internet

By  •  Law

Commentary
Canadian Internet service providers need protection from libel suits sparked by web postings, argues Internet law expert Michael Geist.
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Keys to fair reporting on youth crime

By  •  Law

Feature
Experts says reporters sensationalize youth crime and contribute to the public misconception that teens are increasingly violent and out of control. Stephanie Cameron checks the facts behind the headlines in the King’s Journalism Review.
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Arar, anonymous sources and the duty to report with care

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Commentary
Canadian news outlets, however unknowingly, helped smear Maher Arar’s reputation. The editor-in-chief of CBC News says the case highlights why journalists should be wary of using anonymous sources. By Tony Burman. Posted Oct. 3, 2006.
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Fear of publishing

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Feature
Muslim outrage over published caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed has fueled a debate in Canada on what constitutes freedom of speech. Marlene Rego reports in the Ryerson Review of Journalism.
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The U.S. government’s assault on press freedom

By  •  Law

Commentary
In a nation that preaches the virtues of democracy, the United States government has consistently eroded the media’s ability to report — undermining the ideals it professes to uphold. Lawyer and law professor William Bennett Turner comments in the San Francisco Chronicle.
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Quebec courts reject businessman’s privacy claim

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News
The Montreal Gazette and two other Quebec media outlets won access in December 2006 to the financial information of a businessman at the centre of a major lawsuit. The Gazette‘s Mike King reports.
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Pssst … try the back door to cyberspace

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Feature
On the frontiers of human rights and technology, Julia Belluz writes in the Ryerson Review of Journalism, outspoken nerds fight to free the flow of information on the web.
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