National Post Seeks Leave to Appeal to Supreme Court of Canada in Defence of Freedom of the Press



    TORONTO, March 25 /CNW/ - National Post, Canwest's national newspaper,
made an important decision in the fight for freedom of the press today by
announcing its intention to seek leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of
Canada in the case involving its editor-in-chief and investigative journalist
Andrew McIntosh. The appeal challenges a recent Ontario Court of Appeal ruling
that ordered the newspaper to surrender confidential source material related
to the Shawinigate affair.
    In its appeal, National Post categorically disputes the Ontario Court's
decision, which places greater weight on the public nature of an offence than
the journalist's responsibility to protect its sources.
    In an editorial to appear on the front page of the National Post tomorrow
(Wednesday, March 26, 2008), Editor-in-Chief Douglas Kelly states: "If (the)
decision rendered by the Ontario Court of Appeal on February 29 is permitted
to stand, the press freedom that Canadians depend on to learn the truth about
their government will be severely undermined."
    Kelly continues: "We believe that, except in the most extraordinary
circumstances, reporters must be permitted to honour the promises of
confidentiality they provide their sources. Such guarantees should be
protected by a journalist-confidential source privilege. Even scattered
exceptions to such a rule would chill informants, and thereby cause
investigative reporting to become a dead letter."
    Over the years, Canwest's newspapers, including the National Post, have
actively defended the position of Canadian media, in several prominent cases
across the country.
    "We're proud of our newspapers and their efforts to defend journalistic
principles, arguing in cases that range from access to information, challenges
to publication bans, and the rigorous defence of freedom of expression," said
Scott Anderson, Senior Vice President, Content, Canwest Publishing. "As a
result, we're able to provide the environment and support our reporters need
to practice their craft in a manner that supports the democratic fabric of
this nation."
    The case brings forward the debate surrounding the framework and
orientation of the democratic system in which Canadians live and reporters
work. At its most basic level, the court's decision determined that the right
to protect confidential sources is superseded by police need to investigate
alleged crimes.
    "We recognize our journalists operate in an ever-changing media
landscape, but their ability to do their jobs fairly and with integrity should
never be compromised," said David Asper, Chairman of National Post and
Executive Vice President, Canwest. "Canwest will be first in line when it
comes to the defence of journalists' freedoms and we're committed to advancing
the cause in support of as free and open a society as is humanly possible."

    About National Post
    -------------------
    National Post is a subsidiary of Canwest Global Communications Corp.
(www.canwest.com; TSX: CGS and CGS.A). An international media company, Canwest
is Canada's largest publisher of paid English language daily newspapers and
owns, operates and/or holds substantial interests in conventional television,
out-of-home advertising, specialty cable channels, web sites and radio
stations in Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Turkey, Indonesia, Singapore, the
United Kingdom and the United States.





For further information:

For further information: Tammy Bender, Manager, Public Relations,
Canwest, (416) 442-2177, tbender@canwest.com

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NATIONAL POST

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