Canadian Journalists for Free Expression (CJFE) proudly recognizes Khaled al-Hammadi (Yemen) and Mohamed Abdelfattah (Egypt) as this year’s recipients of the 2011 International Press Freedom Awards. The awards will be presented at the 14th annual CJFE Gala: A Night to Honour Courageous Reporting, to be held at the Fairmont Royal York in Toronto on Thursday, November 24, 2011.
Grant Buckler tells us why the latest Supreme Court ruling on linking, publishing and defamation is good for media outlets and independent bloggers alike. Also check out Dean Jobb's post for more analysis on the ruling.
by Melissa Shaw
The first evaluation of right to information laws across 89 countries was released on September 28th, International Right to Know Day . Access Info Europe, based in Spain, and the Centre for Law and Democracy in Canada conducted the study. Canada ranked 42nd, in the middle of the group.
Freedom of information requests by journalists and “interest groups” tend to take longer to process than other requests. Governments are still responding to many requests for data with printouts or image files that can’t be manipulated with spreadsheets or other software. City contracts are confidential in Winnipeg.
Those are some of the findings of the 2011 Freedom of Information Audit, conducted for Newspapers Canada by Fred Vallance-Jones, assistant professor of journalism at University of King’s College in Halifax.
Quebec’s Minister of Culture, Christine St-Pierre, has expressed support for a recommendation that the province create a system of designating some journalists as professionals and giving them privileges – such as greater access to government information and the right to protect their sources – not afforded to others. The Federation professionelle des journalistes du Quebec has expressed qualified support for the idea, while Canada's major newspapers are cool to it.
by Melissa Shaw
In response to the recent riots that occurred in parts of the U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron has considered blocking access to social media during violent events. Police have already made arrests, on charges of suspicion of inciting violence based on tweets and photos posted on social media websites. Cameron has also asked police if they require new powers such as shutting down social network and communication services if they believe they are being used to spread unrest.
When the Ontario Superior Court dismissed former Aurora, Ont., mayor Phyllis Morris’s suit to identify anonymous commenters on a local political blog, it not only derailed the ex-mayor’s attempt to get $6 million in defamation damages out of the unidentified writers, but gave legal support to the idea that citizens should be able to express opinions anonymously.
"A press release from that city's administration section appeared in my inbox Wednesday morning informing me that I no longer have the luxury of picking up the phone and calling city council members directly to elicit information about the doings of that august body," writes Ted Colley in a column in Surrey Now.
"White Rock city council has decided it no longer wishes to have unfiltered information released to the public.
"The policy requires reporters to call the city's PR person, or the city manager, to request an interview with anyone on council or staff."
She and fellow Globe and Mail reporter Patrick Martin had encountered many checkpoints driving around Cairo, but most were amateur affairs staffed by teenage boys armed with kitchen knives. This one was different, and when the men discovered Verma and Martin were journalists, one of them jumped into the car and ordered the driver to go.
Feature documentary tells the story behind a journalist's investigation into the killings of a university professor and nine students in Peru.
Freedom of Expression
The CJFE is a Canadian non-governmental organization supported by Canadian journalists and advocates of free expression. The purpose of the organization is to defend the rights of journalists and contribute to the development of media freedom throughout the world. This space will be dedicated to news and other info about freedom of expression issues in Canada and abroad.
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