Statement on World Press Freedom Day

May 03, 2018
(OTTAWA) – Elizabeth May (MP, Saanich-Gulf Islands) issued the following statement on World Press Freedom Day:

“In an era when misinformation and ‘fake news’ distort the content of communications, we are reminded of the crucial role of an independent and free press in holding governments accountable and equipping citizens to make informed decisions. Without a free press, democratic institutions wither and die.

“Although Canada ranks 18th on the Reporters Without Borders 2018 world press freedom ranking, four spots up from last year, we find ample room for improvement. Concentration of media ownership remains a problem. Together Bell, Rogers, Shaw and Telus account for 70 percent of the media landscape. And local journalism is in crisis. Since 2010, one in three journalism jobs have been lost and experts predict local TV stations in small and medium markets are likely to disappear. Governments must step in to protect local media and mitigate the effects of misinformation.

“Today, we also remember the many journalists around the world who continue to face censorship and attacks on their basic human rights. We remember journalists who have been killed bringing us the news, including the Palestinian journalist Ahmed Abu Hussein, who lost his life while reporting on the Israel-Gaza Strip border.”

“On World Press Freedom Day, let us recommit to the principles enshrined in our democracy and ensure that no more journalists face persecution, violence or death for doing their job,” Ms. May concluded.