Canadian Association of Journalists Code of Silence Award - Call for Nominations



    OTTAWA, March 20 /CNW/ - They dodged your calls, punted you out of public
meetings and rejected your access to information requests. And now it's time
to get even.
    The Canadian Association of Journalists is now accepting nominations for
its seventh annual Code of Silence Award, which recognizes the most secretive
government department in Canada.
    "From town councils to the Prime Minister's office, governments are still
standing in the way of the public's right to know," said CAJ President Mary
Agnes Welch. "They drag their feet, muzzle staff or force journalists to
navigate bureaucratic procedures worthy of a Dilbert cartoon - all to conceal
information that ought to be public. Some do this so well they deserve an
award."
    The Code of Silence Award is handed out annually at the CAJ's gala award
banquet which takes place during the association's annual spring conference.
    This year, the conference is being held in Edmonton May 23-25.
    Nominees can include municipal, provincial and federal government
departments as well as public agencies that work in the public interest with
public money.
    Last year, the award was given to the Department of Foreign Affairs for
its denial of the existence of documents related to the treatment of Afghan
detainees that were requested under federal Access to Information legislation.

    Nominations can be submitted by e-mail: canadianjour@magma.ca
    (write "Code of Silence" in subject line)
    Nominations close April 30, 2007

    The Canadian Association of Journalists is a professional organization
with some 1,400 members across Canada. The CAJ's primary role is to provide
public-interest advocacy and quality professional development for its members.

    Mary Agnes Welch
    Winnipeg Free Press Legislature Reporter
    Ph. 204-943-6575
    Cell. 204-470-8862
    Fax. 204-948-2144
    maryagnes.welch@freepress.mb.ca





For further information:

For further information: Mary Agnes Welch, CAJ president, (204) 943-6575
or cell (204) 470-8862; John Dickins, CAJ executive director, (613) 526-8061
or cell (613) 868-5442


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