OTTAWA, April 21 /CNW/ - You've called. You've e-mailed. Your
frustration has reached beyond coughing up the cash to file a formal
request and you're still getting stonewalled.
It's time to get even.
For the 10th successive year, the Canadian Association of Journalists is accepting
nominations for your favourite (sic) government department or publicly
funded agency for the CAJ's Code of Silence. The code, presented
annually since 2001, recognizes Canada's most secretive publicly funded
"Some governments and other publicly funded bodies just don't seem to
understand the basic democratic concept of the public's right to know,"
CAJ president Mary Agnes Welch said. "As technology evolves and
open-data initiatives fuel innovation in journalism, these governments
continue to avoid calls to let the public access public information."
Previous winners include the Toronto Police Service, the Canadian Food
Inspection Agency, Prime Minister Stephen Harper's PMO, the Ontario
Courts, and the federal Department of Foreign Affairs and International
Trade. Choosing a winner has been a challenge every year as journalists
across Canada submit strong nominees for our consideration.
This award isn't just for the big federal and provincial government
departments and agencies. Previous nominees included municipal councils
in Montague, PEI, and Rossland, B.C. as well as the economic
development agency in Fort Erie, Ont. We welcome nominations from
journalists working in any newsroom who face the frustration of
wrangling information out of any publicly funded body that seems to put
extra effort into keeping it from the public.
Nominations can be e-mailed to our president at firstname.lastname@example.org. The deadline for nominees is Friday, May 6 - a week before the start
of our 2011 conference in Ottawa on May 13. The award will be handed
out to the winner as part of the awards banquet on May 14 at the
Sheraton Ottawa Hotel.
The CAJ is Canada's largest national professional organization for
journalists from all media, representing about 800 members across the
country. The CAJ's primary roles are to provide high-quality
professional development for its members and public-interest advocacy.
SOURCE Canadian Association of Journalists
For further information:
Mary Agnes Welch, CAJ president - (204) 697-7590, cell (204) 470-8862
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