Live blog on press freedom: Getting away with secrecy ::

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By Ryersonian Staff on September 9, 2013. · · Share this Post

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Live blog on press freedom: Getting away with secrecy

March 9, Friday: 9 a.m. session

Courthouse culture and rights to accessing information, were only some of the topics discussed at the "Getting away with secrecy" panel on day two of the Press Freedom in Canada conference. The diverse panel provided different perspectives on government secrecy and its role in journalist's trying to access information.

Canadian investigative journalist, Linden MacIntyre began the event by describing a phenomenon that he calls, "courthouse culture". He said that the general attitude that courthouse officials have against journalists, often hinders them from accessing information they have a right to. MacIntyre also added that people today are afraid of exercising their rights.

"People are ambivalent about freedom.
We're all in favor of the idea, but when it comes to the practice we become scared of the responsibility."

Journalism professor, Fred Vallance-Jones, sparked discussion about how the government controls access to information. He said that 30 per cent of media requests made by journalists are abandoned.

Suzanne Craig, integrity commissioner for the city of Vaughn, said that unwillingness from government officials and a lack of funds and resources are the main reasons why access to information is a fundamental right that is often denied.

Journalism professor Bruce Gillespie and UBC journalism professor and producer for 60 minutes, Peter Klein, also joined in on the discussion.

Take a look at some of the tweets curated throughout the event.

Panel: Getting away with secrecy: What’s going on here and why is it happening?

Provocateur: Peter Klein (University of British Columbia)


Suzanne Craig (Integrity Commissioner, City of Vaughan)

Linden MacIntyre (CBC, the fifth estate)

Fred Vallance-Jones (University of King’s College)

Bruce Gillespie (Wilfrid Laurier University)

Ryersonian reporters Katia Dmitrieva (@KatiaDMI) and Jillian Bell (@Jillian_Bell) will be reporting live from the event.

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