A conference hosted by Ryerson churned up some interesting questions about the state of press freedom in Canada. Do Canadians take press freedom for granted? And who gives a damn, anyway? War censors exercised direct control during World War II, but concluded that hiding the truth at the start is easier than censoring it later – an idea that obviously caught on. Today, 30 years after the Charter of Rights and Freedoms was enacted, censorship is still with us in various guises, from the self-inflicted to the lawyer-inflicted. Creeping corporate influence also does what it can to blunt sharp pens. And although the Canadian state doesn’t shoot journalists, it’s not above arresting them in a pinch, according to last year’s CJFE Freedom of Expression Review. For more on this topic, visit our Freedom of Expression J-Topic.


Patricia W. Elliott is a magazine journalist and assistant professor at the School of Journalism, University of Regina. You can visit her at patriciaelliott.ca.