To mark World Press Freedom Day, and the tenth anniversary of the Windhoek Declaration on 3 May 2001, Canadian Journalists for Free Expression (CJFE) and the United Nations Association in Canada (UNAC) invite the public to a panel discussion on the potential perils of media concentration.
Date/Time: Thursday, 3 May 2001 at 7 p.m.
Location: Metro-Central YMCA’s auditorium, 20 Grosvenor St, two blocks north of College Street, just west of Yonge (YMCA tel: 416-975-9622)
* Ira Basen, executive producer at CBC Radio One
* Kim Bolan, award-winning investigative reporter for the Vancouver Sun
* Liss Jeffrey, faculty of the McLuhan Centre for Technology Studies of the University of Toronto, and founder/director of the byDesign eLab
* Vince Carlin, director of the Ryerson School of Journalism (moderator)
Over the past few years, the number of independent media organizations has been shrinking, and so has the number of media owners. In English Canada, the conglomerates CanWest-Global-Southam and Bell Globemedia (which includes CTV, the Globe and Mail, Globe Interactive, Sympatico and specialty channels) represent a massive concentration of power in the print, broadcast and new media sectors. In Quebec, two corporations – Quebecor and Power Corp. – control the lion’s share of the media.
In Canada, should governments have the authority to intervene? Do they need to? Should the CRTC move to reverse the tide of media concentration? Should conglomerates have voluntary codes of conduct? What role can public broadcasters and new media such as the Internet play in diversifying social and political voices? Or is the perceived threat to free expression amid media concentration just a red herring?
On World Press Freedom Day, our four panelists will explore these very important issues from the unique perspective of media workers.
For information about what press freedom groups have planned for World Press Freedom Day around the world, visit www.ifex.org.