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The importance for the public and governments have to realize that the current war on the media needs to end. The work of reporters, journalists and other members of the media holds a very important place in the world and without the freedom of the press being respected, the public might as well live in a government controlled dictatorship such as North Korea or Syria (and other unnamed countries) have laws and serious consequences restricting the media and what is allowed to be reported to their citizens.
The Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs, on Friday issued the following statement,
"It is with great grief that we learned of the death of Javier Ortega, Paul Rivas and Efrain Segarra, three employees of El Comercio, one of Ecuador's newspapers. They were murdered while investigating a series of violent attacks against Ecuadorian security forces at the country's northern border. We offer our deepest condolences to the families of the victims and their loved ones."
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"Journalists and other media professionals play an essential role in our society. They strengthen our democracies, speak up for the vulnerable and hold governments to account. As a former journalist, this kind of cowardly attack on professionals doing their jobs and serving the public interest hit particularly close to home. Canada stands with Ecuador and Ecuadorians during this difficult time."
As we look to the future, we need to ensure that reporters, journalists and other members of the "real" media are protected. We are seeing too many killed, kidnapped and prosecuted for doing their job around the globe. In some areas such as Syria, major news outlets are restricting what is reported and where their staff travel for the stories. Many news outlets are relying now on unchecked information and videos coming through social media sites from citizen reporters in unsafe regions. It is a corporately safe thing to do when you factor in the number of deaths and other consequences facing those trying to report the real truth and not just what government will allow. But for places such as Canada where the freedom of the press is being placed into question through the courts, it is unacceptable. If the courts can order the identity being released of confidential, so called whistleblowers; the media will suffer a great loss in access to information which is in the public interest. It will also allow for more corruption and misdeeds to go unreported and unpunished. Is the Quebec judge trying to insight fear in potential whistleblowers, and if so. is it under pressure from outside sources or is the justice scared of what can be leaked about his own actions? We may never know.
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It as important now as it has ever been for the world to have access to the truth and this is done through an open and transparent reporting by the media. Do not sit at home and do nothing or you will have nobody to blame except yourself for assuming that because the only options you have left for news is social media and then being upset when you find out that the news was false and actually reported from some moron in a bathrobe in Alaska in the middle of the night. Go to your social media account and type, #ISupporttheMedia and let us make a demand around the world that we value the importance of the media in a fair and accountable world. Over 80 journalists were killed in 2017.
For more on the worldwide initatives to protect journalists and or a breakdown on journalism around the globe, follow this link to the Committee To Protect Journalists' website https://cpj.org/data/killed/2017/?status=Killed&motiveConfirmed%5B%5D=Confirmed&type%5B%5D=Journalist&end_year=2017&group_by=location
There is also a project to bring more reports from Syria and the Syrian refugees in countries surrounding Syria to the world. It is also a project looking to help some of the refugees in crisis. Follow this link to help support this project. https://www.gofundme.com/helpforSyriansNow
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