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May 3rd, 2018

NDP Statement on World Press Freedom Day

Jagmeet Singh, Leader of Canada’s NDP, issued the following statement today on World Press Freedom Day:

“On World Press Freedom Day, we show our appreciation and celebrate the work that journalists around the world do to build a free and open society. It is also a time to reflect on the work we have ahead of us, to ensure that the freedom of the press is protected and promoted.

The theme for this year is ‘Keeping Power in Check: Media, Justice, and the Rule of Law’. This has particular significance today, as we see the credibility of journalism coming under attack more than ever.

The truth is, around the world, journalists face threats to their lives, and their livelihood, and it is our responsibility to defend the principles of freedom of the press in all corners of the world. In fact, we remember and honour the 10 journalists that were killed on the job in Afghanistan earlier this week.

The importance of having media that champions accountability, justice and the rule of law is integral to an open and free society. The National Observer’s Mike De Souza’s work to expose the rigged Kinder Morgan process is just one example of how a robust fourth estate provides the necessary checks and balances that are so critical for a healthy democracy.

Here in Canada, while we have a healthy appreciation and respect for the freedom of the press, we also have work to do. Far too often, we see journalists, particularly women in the media, face criticism and backlash online, doxing, death threats, and comments that would be unacceptable in any circumstance.

We all have a responsibility to ensure that respect, and common decency is extended to journalists, so that they can continue to do the important work that society relies upon in the pursuit of truth.

On behalf of all New Democrats, I give thanks to all journalists in Canada and around the world, who speak truth to power, investigate injustice and shine a light on the stories that matter, day in and day out.”