Canada celebrates “Journalism without Fear or Favour”
Shady Salah – Media in Toronto
Canada is celebrating the courage and efforts exerted by reporters and journalists across the world in their noble mission to report on the COVID-19 epidemic.
“Today, on World Press Freedom Day, we reflect on the crucial work of journalists in Canada and around the world. We also honour the dedicated journalists who have lost their liberty or their lives while in pursuit of the truth,” Mr. Trudeau said in a statement on the World Press Freedom Day.
“The theme of this year’s World Press Freedom Day is “Journalism without Fear or Favour”. It reinforces the fact that press freedom cannot be achieved unless journalists can work safely, free from censorship, intimidation, and violence. When journalists and other media workers cannot investigate and report without interference, the public is deprived of reliable, accurate information and the foundation of our democracies starts to erode.
“Freedom of expression and access to information are vitally important, even more so during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Journalists are working tirelessly on the front lines, at home, and abroad to report on a rapidly evolving global health crisis. But they are doing much more than that: they are keeping us informed and helping us stay safe” he added. “A free-thinking, independent, and respected media is the cornerstone of any democracy. One cannot exist without the other. That is why Canada continues to defend press freedom and condemn all attempts to stifle the press. It is also why, together with other members of the Media Freedom Coalition, Canada calls on all states to protect access to free media and support the free exchange of information during this pandemic.
” Today, we recognize all the journalists and media workers who start conversations, shine light on stories that would otherwise not be told, expose injustices, and hold the powerful to account – often at great personal risk. They are a vital part of all healthy democracies and, through their work, they spur change and increased transparency that benefit all of us.”
For his part, François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Foreign Affairs, said in a statement “Journalists and media workers play a vital role in our society by providing us with the information we need to make informed decisions, broadening our horizons and holding individuals and institutions to account. “As we mark World Press Freedom Day, journalist and media workers continue to be targeted in the pursuit of the truth. In 2019 alone, 25 journalists were killed for their work. Countless others were intimidated, jailed or tortured—often with impunity. All over the world, censorship and misinformation propagated by states are increasing. “In times of great uncertainty, such as these we are living in right now, quality journalism is critical. By ensuring that people have access to credible and accurate public health information, journalists are helping to save lives.
“Freedom of the press is a cornerstone of democracy. Now, more than ever, we must raise our voices in support of its preservation and in opposition to those who would seek to subvert it.”