CJF J-Talk in Ottawa
TORONTO, March 20, 2014 /CNW/ - With access to the Prime Minister,
ministers and MPs increasingly restricted, is the influence of
political reporters on the wane? The Canadian Journalism Foundation explores this question at its next J-Talk at the National Arts Centre in
Ottawa on April 9.
"Parliament's recognition and respect for the role the media have to
play in our democratic system dates back to Confederation - journalists
were there in the gallery from the first debate," says Jennifer Ditchburn, senior parliamentary correspondent for the Ottawa bureau of The
Canadian Press, who will speak at the event. "We've arrived at a
disturbing moment in our history where the message seems to be that
reporters are not even necessary anymore, that they are an annoyance
that needs to be bypassed and their access to parliamentarians and
government information blocked."
Members of the Parliamentary Press Gallery recently voted unanimously to
assert their right to scrum Prime Minister Harper so they could
"fulfill our functions as journalists in a democratic society." The
vote was a reaction to restrictions on access to the PM and his
ministers—and a revealing glimpse of how the ground has shifted on
Ottawa political reporters. The regular prime ministerial news
conference is a thing of the past. Senior bureaucrats hesitate to brief
journalists. The PM and ministers take their message on the road or
send it out on weekly video clips. Opposition MPs use the same
As a result, is the influence of political reporters on the wane in the
face of shrinking resources, wide use of social media and the distance
Ottawa puts between government and reporters? Does the national media
coverage of the government matter as much as it used to?
Join Jennifer Ditchburn, Jason Kenney, Minister of Employment and Social Development and Minister for
Multiculturalism, Senator Jim Munson, a former long-time member of the Press Gallery, and Paul Wells, political editor of Maclean's for this discussion. Tom Clark, chief political correspondent for Global News and host of The West Block, will moderate.
This is part of the CJF J-Talks series, exploring issues and challenges shaping journalism.
Thank you to CJF J-Talk exclusive series sponsor BMO Financial Group, venue sponsor National Arts Centre and in-kind supporters CNW and CPAC.
WHERE: National Arts Centre (Salon), 53 Elgin St., Ottawa
WHEN: Wednesday, April 9 / Discussion 7:00 p.m. / Reception 8:30 p.m.
Early Bird: $25 (Limited quantity available. General admission tickets: $30)
Students: $15 (Limited quantity available. ID at the door)
About The Canadian Journalism Foundation
Founded in 1990, The Canadian Journalism Foundation (CJF) is a not-for-profit organization that promotes excellence in
journalism by celebrating outstanding journalistic achievement through
an annual awards program; by organizing events that facilitate dialogue
among journalists, business people, academics and students about the
role of the media in Canadian society; by supporting journalism
websites, J-Source.ca English and ProjetJ (French), in co-operation with the country's leading journalism
schools; and by fostering opportunities for journalism education,
training and research.
SOURCE: Canadian Journalism Foundation
For further information:
The Canadian Journalism Foundation