Tuesday, April 16, 2024
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Statement by the Prime Minister on World Press Freedom Day

The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today issued the following statement on World Press Freedom Day:

“Journalists work tirelessly to report the truth, help hold governments accountable, and provide Canadians with accurate, reliable, and trustworthy information. Today, as we celebrate the 30th anniversary of World Press Freedom Day, we are reminded of the fundamental role that a free and independent press plays in our democracy.

“Today, we express our gratitude to the journalists who continue to report the facts, give a voice to the voiceless, and often put themselves at risk to deliver timely and accurate information to the world, including those covering Russia’s ongoing, brutal invasion of Ukraine. We stand in solidarity with journalists in Iran who are facing brutal repression and severe restrictions for covering the Iranian regime’s crackdowns on protests. We also recognize the brave work of journalists in Sudan and other conflict areas around the world, who are keeping the world updated on conflicts and the horrifying impacts they are having on people.

“We have made important progress toward achieving a free press around the world in recent decades. But we know more work needs to be done as journalists continue to face harassment, censorship, restrictive laws, and violence simply for doing their jobs. The Government of Canada will always support the safety of the media, protect access to information, and promote the freedom of the press – both at home and abroad.

“Right now, the journalism industry is contending with a rapidly changing global landscape, increasing disinformation and misinformation, and attempts to undermine media freedom worldwide. As Co-Chair of the Media Freedom Coalition, Canada is working with international partners to promote and protect media freedom. The Government of Canada also continues to work with industry, community, and government partners by supporting projects that help address the growing problem of online disinformation, like the Shooting the Messenger project from the University of British Columbia, which aims to investigate and help counteract online campaigns to discredit and harass journalists.

“On this World Press Freedom Day, we recognize the progress made to achieve a free and independent press around the world, and we recommit to the work left to do at this critical time. We know that Canada is not immune to the challenges facing the free press. Today, I invite all Canadians to reflect on the significance of an independent media and to commit to upholding this fundamental pillar of democracy and a key part of who we are. Let us also pay tribute to the tireless efforts of journalists who speak truth to power and acknowledge those who are imprisoned, endangered, have been injured, or lost their lives while defending the freedom of the press.”