Contempt case critical for media profession



    OTTAWA, Jan. 21 /CNW Telbec/ - The outcome of journalist Ken Peters'
appeal of his contempt-of-court case will dictate whether the media can
function effectively in Canada without fear of court reprisals, says CEP,
Canada's largest media union.
    The case of Peters, a journalist with the Hamilton Spectator who refused
to disclose a confidential source, is set to be heard on Tuesday, January 21,
at Osgoode Hall in Toronto. Peters was convicted of contempt in relation to a
story involving allegations of serious problems at a retirement home.
    "We believe it is time the courts in Canada reflect the reality that
journalists often need protection for their sources if they are to raise
issues vital to public safety and ethical government," says Peter Murdoch,
CEP's Vice-President, Media.
    "The Canadian judicial system is behind the times in this regard and our
hope is that the Court of Appeal will quickly dispose of this case with a
solid endorsement of a journalistic practice essential to the profession."
    "A not-guilty verdict would send a strong signal about the importance of
press freedom in a democracy."
    Brad Honywill, president of CEP Local 87-M, which includes the Spectator
and most other newspapers in Ontario, notes that "society has benefited
greatly from whistleblowers who have been able to get their messages of
corruption, abuse and mismanagement out through the media.
    "We urge the appeal court to give public good high consideration in
deciding Peters case," says Honywill.

    CEP, the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada,
represents 150,000 Canadian workers in several key parts of the economy,
including more than 25,000 newspaper, broadcast, film and printing industry
workers.




For further information:

For further information: Peter Murdoch, (613) 230-5800, ext 229, cell:
(905) 516-5720

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Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada

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