Responsible journalism is a libel defence, CAJ says



    OTTAWA, Feb. 17 /CNW/ - The Canadian Association of Journalists will
appear before the Supreme Court of Canada today to argue for a broader set of
libel defences.
    The CAJ is part of a media coalition that will present its arguments
today on an appeal involving the Ottawa Citizen's reporting on Ontario
Provincial Police officer Dano Cusson and a libel suit that ensued.
    In a landmark decision, the Ontario appeals court ruled that, while parts
of the Citizen's reporting on Cusson were defamatory, the information brought
to light as a result was in the public interest. The coalition is arguing that
"public interest responsible journalism," as presented by the appeal court
ruling, should be included in law as a defence in libel cases.
    "Libel chill is a concern to every journalist reporting on those who
might seek to avoid the glare of the public spotlight," CAJ president Mary
Agnes Welch said. "We have joined this coalition to ensure important
information is not kept from public view by those who seek to hide it."

    The CAJ is Canada's largest professional organization for journalists
from all media, representing about 1,400 members across Canada. The CAJ's
primary roles are to provide high-quality professional development for members
and public-interest advocacy.





For further information:

For further information: Mary Agnes Welch, CAJ president, (204)
943-6575, (204) 470-8862; John Dickins, CAJ executive director, (613)
526-8061


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