CJFE Newsletter: April/May 2013

Friday, May 31, 2013

By Amy Johnson

Dear CJFE members and supporters,

If you’ve visited our website recently, or checked in with us on Twitter or Facebook, you might have noticed that CJFE has been busier than ever – so busy, in fact, that we sailed right past the last monthly update! Let us make it up to you with a look at what has been keeping us so busy…

After months of news-tracking, fact-checking, and evening editorial huddles, CJFE launched its fourth annual Review of Free Expression in Canada on May 2. We’re delighted to call the 2013 Review our strongest edition yet; there are 20 articles tackling pressing free expression issues from across Canada over the past year, a handful of stunning new cartoons, and much more! And as part of an educational initiative that began in 2012, we’re talking to professors at Canadian universities and colleges about ways this publication can be used in the classroom. Don’t forget: you can read the full Review on our website, download the smartphone app or contact us to request your own hard copy.

In May, CJFE also welcomed two summer interns, Nouran Sedaghat and Alex Zakreski. Their exceptional work reporting on free expression issues in Canada and abroad has populated CJFE’s website over the past month, and they continue to contribute to CJFE’s various programs in new and exciting ways. Our cadre of summer interns does not stop there; we’re happy to announce that Spencer Livingstone and Stefan Rinas will also begin CJFE placements in June!

It’s been an exciting spring, and we have a busy summer to come. Here’s a look at what else has happened, what we’re currently working on, and the events we’re looking forward to:

What happened in April/May

  • · Canada's Universal Periodic Review at the United Nations: On April 26, Canada’s human rights record went under the microscope for a second time this year. Although free expression issues largely took a backseat to concerns about indigenous rights and protection of minorities, questions were raised regarding the right to peaceful protest in Canada. CJFE, in collaboration with four other groups, compiled a report to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).
  • · FREE TO SPEAK on May 2: On the eve of World Press Freedom Day (May 3), CJFE celebrated the launch of the 2013 Review with a private event called FREE TO SPEAK: A salon discussion on the state of free expression in Canada, bringing together the perspectives of speakers from the media, arts, and activism world.
  • · Joint call for CBC/Radio-Canada’s removal from Bill C-60: On Monday, May 27, CJFE hosted a news conference in Ottawa in partnership with six other Canadian groups to raise awareness of the new bill which would dissolve the current arm’s length relationship between the Crown corporation and the Canadian government.
  • · Canadian Issues Committee addressed Bill C-461: The bill, which would pose a major threat to CBC/Radio-Canada’s journalistic integrity and protection of sources as noted by a CJFE position paper published in March, is currently being reviewed by the Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics. This Monday, May 27, CJFE Board Member and member of Canadian Media Guild Bob Carty presented our concerns in the official committee testimony by CMG. We will continue to monitor this process closely and share developments as they come.
  • · CJFE Annual Gala Tickets went on Sale: You can now purchase tickets for the 16th Annual CJFE Gala: A Night to Honour Courageous Reporting, on December 4, 2013, at the Fairmont Royal York hotel. New this year is our early-bird discount for tickets and sponsorships purchased before September 3, so pledge your support early! Tickets can be purchased here.

What's coming up in June

  • · CJFE’s Annual General Meeting: On June 6, we will host our AGM at the NOW Lounge at 189 Church Street. The members-only business meeting will be followed by a public event, Canadian Science in Crisis: Research, Responsibility and the Right to Speak. Canadian climatologist and 2007 co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize Dr. Gordon McBean will join host of CBC’s The Current and CJFE Board member Anna Maria Tremonti for a discussion on the links between free expression and climate change research in Canada. Don’t forget to RSVP at 416-515-9622 ex. 231 or to ajohnson@cjfe.org!

Events we're looking forward to

  • · May 31 – June 1, Exposure Photo and Video Imaging Show: presented by Henry’s, Canada’s largest photo and video expo will be taking place at the International Centre in Mississauga this weekend, including an extended run of CJFE’s 2012 Gala Photo Exhibit What You Don’t Know CAN Hurt You.
  • · June 13, Canadian Journalism Foundation Awards: CJF will hold its 16th annual awards gala, hosted by CBC News Senior Business Correspondent Amanda Lang, at the Fairmont Royal York hotel.
  • · June 21, CEMA Awards: In recognition of National Aboriginal Day, the Canadian Ethnic Media Association will hold its 35th annual awards ceremony at the Velma Rogers Graham Theatre. CJFE Manager Julie Payne sat on the jury for CEMA’s awards, which celebrate excellence in the categories of Print, Television, Radio and Internet.