Statement by VICE Founder & CEO Shane Smith in Support of VICE News Journalist Ben Makuch's Appeal in Press Freedom Fight

 

Statement comes as VICE Media Canada appeared in Ontario Superior Court today to appeal an Ontario Superior Court decision to uphold an RCMP production order. The order asks Makuch to give up his notes from a conversation with a source.

LOS ANGELES, Feb. 6, 2017 /CNW/ - "As VICE News continues to grow around the world, we are confronted by many challenges: the rise of fake news from the fringes of the political spectrum, aggressive hacking by governments and political groups, regime and political oppression that threatens our reporters and, in extreme cases, police intimidation, jail and legal pressure put on us by judiciary vehicles. In the past year alone, we have faced problems in the Philippines, Iran, Afghanistan, Venezuela, Iraq and Turkey. It is with a sad heart today that I see these trends not only continuing in war zones and political hotspots, but also in my native country of Canada.

The existence of a free press is essential to a true democracy and consequently - as we see the rise of political extremism around the world - one of the first targets of those who seek to bypass our democratic institutions. Protection of sources is a fundamental part of having a free and vibrant news community.

Today I go on the record to say we will support and defend Ben Makuch with all of our resources and call upon our journalistic brothers and sisters to do the same. Stand up! An attack on one journalist is an attack on all journalists. A free press is more important today than ever before and VICE News will fight to make sure that we are part of one until you shut us down."

SOURCE VICE Canada



For further information: Chris Ball, Head of Communications, VICE Media Canada, P: 416-737-9559, E: Chris.Ball@vice.com

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