Now on J-Source: Freelancer held hostage; telling libelous life stories

TORONTO, Jan. 12 /CNW/ -

January 18 in Toronto

The Canadian hostage, and the indifferent media
Twenty-six months ago, Beverley Giesbrecht was kidnapped by the Taliban in the tribal regions of Pakistan, not far from the Afghanistan border. She was a self-styled journalist from British Columbia, on a mission to meet Islamic insurgents and have them tell their side of the "war on terror." She's almost certainly dead and, as Claude Adams reports, her story has received little media attention. Why? In part, because she was working on the margins of the profession.
Link to article

Rape, sexual harassment on the job: don't ask, don't tell
Correspondents who have been raped, sexually assaulted or harassed usually don't report it to their bosses (or anyone else for that matter); they worry it might cost them their beat. The result? Most journalistic safety training courses and handbooks don't even mention sexual security. Yet the still-taboo topic is very much a fact of life for female reporters -- and not just the ones covering war zones. Dana Lacey reports.
Link to article

What are the legal issues when retelling a potentially libelous life story?
Q: I work in Kenora, where an elder has asked me to help her tell her life story. The parts about living off the land and descriptions of the culture are wonderful. The sections where she's talking about the abuse she suffered at the local residential school are trickier. She doesn't name names, but she does name the school. It'll also be possible to identify individuals in charge. The specifics make her story much more powerful, but she may end up with some legal issues. Any thoughts or advice? Answer by media lawyer Bert Bruser.
Link to article

Social media and news: Tapping into a digital audience
When a severe snowstorm swept into Southern Ontario in December, it stranded hundreds of people on a highway near Sarnia: including Colin Stewart, who, armed with little more than his BlackBerry, spent the time updating his Facebook page, Sneha Kulkarni reports. As result of some tech-savvy reporting -- and before rescuers even reached the scene -- The Canadian Press was publishing exclusive photo, video and interview, straight from Smith's phone.
Link to article

Final call: Second annual Journalism Integrity Award
Who's deserving of our Journalism Integrity Award? Heather Robertson? The CRTC? OpenFile? We want nominations! The deadline has been extended to January 14 -- send your nomination to along with any supporting info or add a comment to the story on J-Source (comments will not be published).
Link to article


FOI: Keep digging
Last year, the number of access to information requests journalists made to government dropped 23 per cent. Maybe it has something to do with the sad fact that Canada ranks last in FOI effectiveness. At the federal level, blocking requests has become a matter of course. In 2008, Canadian Press reported the trend had reached "crisis proportions." Who knew it could get even worse? One thing is certain: acquiescence won't help. In our Ask a Mentor section, J-Source asks a veteran investigative journalist, "How can I access government information?" Not getting answers is no reason to stop digging.  



National Magazine Awards nomination deadline on Friday
Kirstine Stewart named head of CBC English Services
UWO grad wins the "Pulitzer Prize of broadcast journalism" 
Nominations open for CAJ awards
Rogers TV cancels seven local news programs
Canada ranked last in freedom-of-information law effectiveness
Sun TV's "spiritual leader" Kory Teneycke is back
How to ensure accuracy: checklists
Two U.S. entertainment tabloids to share reporters
Competition opens for 2011 Youth Media Alliance awards
Newspaper reporter, photojournalist make U.S. "worst jobs" list
Eight Canadian docs receive funding
Why iPad magazine sales are plummeting, and how to stop it
Fewer journalists requesting access to information
Pens and lens: Toronto Star reporters' best photos of 2010
Leslie Lorne McLaughlin passes away


Lessons women have taught us about the future of media
Tucson shooting: Did the media blow it?
Postmedia reporter ordered to reveal source
2010: Year of the really super new new journalism
"Look lives": Eroding journalistic integrity one hit at a time?
Hockey team bans sports editor
2010 in pictures by the New York Times
Norman Spector's column pulled


"Sexual harassment of female journalists, both international and local, is a major issue - and it is much more common than many assume. The International News Safety Institute (INSI) addresses safety issues specific to women in its safety training projects for journalists. We have just concluded such a course in the Democratic Republic of Congo, conducted by a female journalist and female security specialist, and are planning safety and trauma training exclusively for women journalists in Afghanistan, again conducted by women. Our "Women Reporting War" survey brought attention to the problem; the report and subsequent debate are on our website along with a useful brochure Rodney Pinder, Director "

Reader Comment: Rodney Pinder
Post: Rape, sexual harassment on the job: don't ask, don't tell

"Personally, I am sure that income levels of journalists may affect the rate at which they submit FOI requests. If I had a bottomless bankbook, I would be filing one a day reflecting my interests. The reality is, freelance writers and those who need to work more than one job simply do not have the time or money. The drop of 23 per cent is not surprising and I would like to see the rolling 5-year drop now that the novelty of FOI has worn off and the understanding of what is available to the public becomes blurry."

Reader Comment: Lydia Peever
Post: Canada ranks last in freedom-of-information law effectiveness

SOURCE Canadian Journalism Foundation

For further information:

The Canadian Journalism Foundation
La Fondation pour le journalisme canadien
59 Adelaide St. E, Ste 500 / Toronto, ON / M5C 1K6
416-955-0630 /


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