CJFE newsletter: September / October 2013

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Dear CJFE members and supporters,

Here is your newsletter for September/October!

What a great way to kick off October. Thank you to everyone who attended and participated in last night's inspiring Ai Weiwei: Voices of Freedom event at the Art Gallery of Ontario, or joined us online on our liveblog. A multimedia celebration of free expression in commemoration of Chinese artist Ai Weiwei, the evening was a huge success. Check out the photo gallery created at our very popular Stand with Ai Weiwei exhibit and the event highlights blog on our website!

In honour of this event, CJFE has highlighted the complicated context for free expression in China over the past month. We blogged about the release of Blocked on Weibo, Google Policy Fellow Jason Q Ng's latest book about digital surveillance in the country, expressed concern about the tightening controls on online expression, presented a feature piece on the climate of free expression by Jesse Mintz, and highlighted 10 things you may not know about Ai Weiwei.

What happened in September

Decoding the Trans-Pacific Partnership: CJFE held an online discussion on September 10 with special guest Dr Michael Geist to explore the implications of these highly secretive interstate trade talks on the free expression rights of Canadians. Read highlights from the online chat!
CJFE joins 140 groups in support of Greenpeace's anti-SLAPP petition: This action calls on the Ontario government to ensure that the recent anti-SLAPP bill – one that would better protect against meritless lawsuits by large companies against their critics – will become top priority in the legislature.
CJFE monitoring the case of EI Whistleblower Sylvie Therrien: The Vancouver-based federal fraud investigator, who was suspended without pay in May after leaking evidence of insurance fraud to the media in February, had her final grievance hearing on September 12 regarding her suspension.
New Campus Corner blog: On September 13, we launched our student resource blog concerning free expression. Take a look at the inaugural post by McGill University student Laurent Bastien-Corbeil.
Staff additions at CJFE: Web and Social Media Editor Laura Tribe, who has worked with CJFE for the last two years, will be taking on the new and expanded role of National Programs Coordinator. Don’t worry, she’ll still be our main go-to person for all things digital! As well, we welcomed our 2013 Gala and Events Intern Kirsten Hering to the CJFE team on September 16. And finally, Alex Zakreski, one of this summer’s fabulous interns, will be staying on with us as our new Program Assistant.

What's coming up in October

2013 CJFE Gala announcements: Keep an eye on our CJFE Gala page in the coming weeks, where we will be announcing the winners of our 2013 International Press Freedom Awards.
CJFE at the World Social Science Forum: On October 14, Laura Tribe will be representing CJFE at the 2013 WSSF Conference discussing the increasing complexities and opportunities of free expression online.
Update on the murder case of Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya: October 7 is the seventh anniversary of Politkovskaya's still unsolved murder.

For more free expression news, commentary, and event updates, keep visiting cjfe.org!

Until soon,
Amy Johnson