Press Freedom in Canada: Public apathy, ‘courthouse culture’ and new media challenges
Two days, two summaries and a whole lot of reasons that you should care about freedom of the press. Belinda Alzner and Rhiannon Russell have rounded up their coverage of a conference discussing the state of press freedom in Canada on the eve of the 30th anniversary of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, held last week at Ryerson University. Assumptions about press and society were challenged in panels addressing media and the courts, international reporting, Twitter’s role in news and why the public just doesn’t seem to care.
"Freedom of the press is the necessary condition for maintenance and enjoyment of the other freedoms."
That was a statement spoke by Marlys Edwardh, the lawyer who represented Maher Arar, during a panel discussion at a Ryerson University conference that delved into issues surrounding press freedom in Canada last week. The standing-room-only classroom of students, teachers and industry members seemed to silently nod in unison.
If such a notion receives such unanimous agreeance, then why do we even need to talk about it? If it's that obvious, surely a developed country such as Canada is an exemplary case for press freedom.
But as Ivor Shapiro noted in a column for J-Source, while Canada may not kill its reporters, there are still significant restrictions on press freedom, and Canadians at large simply don't give a damn.
Some of these issues were discussed at Ryerson's Press Freedom in Canada conference. Topics ranged from a slew of issues in the courts — from clerks, to juries, to technology in the courtroom — to ethics codes, professional distinction, access to information, liability and intimidation. J-Source's Belinda Alzner and Rhiannon Russell were there covering each panel live (as you may have noticed from last week's newsfeed barrage if you follow J-Source on Twitter.)[node:ad]
They have pared down the information into two summaries that highlight each of the panel discussions. Click on the images below to go to the summary for the respective day.