TORONTO, April 28, 2012 /CNW/ - One name kept being repeated in the
weeks prior to today as the Canadian Association of Journalists kept
asking its members for nominees for its annual Code of Silence Award
recognizing Canada's most secretive government or publicly funded
From keeping information out of public hands on files such as the F-35
program, to avoiding the opportunity to be asked too many questions at
media events to the lockdown on media and public access to contentious
information, the Stephen Harper government was consistently named,
again and again for this prestigious prize.
"This was the overwhelming choice - while we received a few other worthy
nominations, no single one outnumbered the Harper government in volume
or depth," CAJ president Hugo Rodrigues said in presenting the award at
the 2012 convention. "The death grip on information has long frustrated
journalists in this country, but it may now be reaching a point where
the public at large is not only empathetic, but shares it."
His government departments now deal with media almost exclusively by
email, often returning with unhelpful or useless responses containing
little to none of the information actually requested.
Got a political hot-potato? Sorry, but in the Harper government, that
request gets routed through the Privy Council Office (PCO) or even the
Prime Minister's Office (PMO) before your "response" is returned. The
lockdown on information is so extensive its reach goes well beyond
Parliament Hill and official Ottawa and affects any journalist asking
questions about public information in every region of this country.
The CAJ is Canada's largest national professional organization for
journalists from all media, representing about 600 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:
Hugo Rodrigues, CAJ president - 519-756-2020 ext. 2226, 519-535-8680 cell, firstname.lastname@example.org
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