Defenders of Press Freedom Nominated - Awards to be presented at the World Press Freedom Luncheon, May 5, 2009



    OTTAWA, April 8 /CNW Telbec/ - Five defenders of press freedom and
freedom of expression have been nominated for the 11th annual Press Freedom
Award of the Canadian Committee for World Press Freedom (CCWPF).
    The Award will be presented at a luncheon at the National Arts Centre
hosted by the CBC's Don Newman on Tuesday, May 5, marking World Press Freedom
Day (May 3). Award-winning Globe and Mail Afghanistan correspondent Graeme
Smith, also a nominee for this year's Press Freedom award, will speak on "The
dangerous and confusing search for truth in Afghanistan".
    The Committee will also award three prizes in the 9th International
Editorial Cartoon Competition.

    The Press Freedom Award nominees are:

    (*) Reporter Daniel Leblanc, nominated by the Globe and Mail for his
willingness to risk judicial censure for protecting a confidential source in
the sponsorship scandal;
    (*) Reporter William Marsden, nominated by The Gazette for his reporting of
a land deal involving the husband of Parti Québecois leader Pauline Marois. A
resulting lawsuit against the newspaper threatens to stifle legitimate
investigation into an issue of public interest;
    (*) Brian Macleod Rogers and Paul Schabas, lawyers nominated by the
Canadian Newspaper Association for their outstanding work, often without
monetary reward, fighting for important principles that help keep the press
free and our democratic system healthy;
    (*) Graeme Smith of The Globe and Mail, nominated by Canadian Journalists
for Free Expression (CJFE) for his reporting on Afghanistan. Smith is credited
with sparking an important debate inside Canada about the moral and legal
parameters of Canada's mission in Afghanistan.

    The Press Freedom Award includes a cash prize of $2,000 and a certificate
of honour from the CCWPF and the Canadian Commission for the United Nations
Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
    The International Editorial Cartoon Competition attracted more than 500
entries from scores of countries for prizes of $1,500, $750 and $500 on this
year's theme of "Protecting Privacy" - a concept often employed by governments
and law enforcement bodies as a justification for denying the release of
information to the public.
    Sponsors of the luncheon and awards include the Brewers' Association of
Canada, TELUS, Canadian Newspaper Association, CIDA, the Ottawa Citizen, the
University of Ottawa, Rights and Democracy, the Canadian Commission for
UNESCO, Air Canada, Delta Media, Le Droit, Hill Times/Embassy, Canada News
Wire, Thornley Fallis Communications, the National Press Club Foundation and
the National Arts Centre.

    For Luncheon Reservations, please call: 613 237-3575.

    Note to Editors: The name of the winner of the Press Freedom Award will
be announced in a release Tuesday May 5, embargoed for 12 Noon. Plan space and
download the three winning editorial cartoons from Friday, May 1 on the
websites of the Canadian Newspaper Association, www.cna-acj.ca and the CCWPF,
www.ccwpf-cclpm.ca.
    See also: http://www.ccwpf-cclpm.ca which has links to many press freedom
sites.




For further information:

For further information: Bob Carty, (613) 730-1007, rcarty@sympatico.ca;
David Gollob, (613) 301-6162 (c), dgollob@gmail.com


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