Canadian Journalists for Free Expression (CJFE), a non-profit organization I worked with for 14 years, is one of dozens of groups from around the world that celebrated the importance of an unencumbered media on World Press Freedom Day May 3.
CJFE has an almost 30 year history of carrying out vital press freedom work throughout the developing world with its own programs and, in particular, through the creation and operation of the International Freedom of Expression eXchange (IFEX), a worldwide network of 88 groups. Working with other groups, lives have been saved and entire nations of people have gained the right to express themselves.
Free Expression in Canada Review. The report addresses a number of important issues, such as access to information, digital surveillance, and the failure to protect the country's whistleblowers. The Review should result in more people becoming involved in CJFE, which is important.
But with this anniversary of World Press Freedom Day, I feel it's important to explain how CJFE comes up short when addressing the free expression problems we face here in Canada.
It's not only in developing countries where journalists lack rights. In fact, Canada is facing its greatest public information crisis in many years.
It is true that mainstream journalism is adversely affected by the economic downturn and the loss of millions of dollars in advertising revenues to Internet-based companies. But this is not what I'm referring to.