OTTAWA, April 21, 2014 /CNW/ - Journalists, do you tire of what seems like a never-ending battle to get your hands on public information to share with your audiences?
Here's an opportunity to fight back by naming and shaming the publicly funded agency, government, department or ministry.
For the 13th successive year, the Canadian Association of Journalists is accepting nominations for your favourite (sic) government department or publicly funded agency for the CAJ's Code of Silence. The code, presented annually since 2001, recognizes Canada's most secretive publicly funded body.
Previous winners include the Resort Municipality of Whistler, the Harper government, Toronto Police Service, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and the federal Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade. Choosing a winner has been a challenge every year as journalists across Canada submit strong nominees for our consideration.
We welcome nominations from journalists working in any environment who face the frustration of wrangling information out of any publicly funded body that seems to put extra effort into keeping it from the public.
Here are some nominations we've already considered:
- The Egg Farmer of Alberta, which toughened up its shell after CTV's W5 tried to crack into its affairs in its episode titled, "Behind the Barn Door."
- The so-called "fudge-it" budget of 2013-14, courtesy of the provincial government led by former Alberta premier Alison Redford—where even the province's auditor general was left scratching his head at how opaquely information was presented.
- Various Ontario government ministries, who release names on the so-called Sunshine List annually, but provide no information to identify what communities these employees work in—several forced media to file freedom-of-information requests in order to be able to identify which employees worked where.
Do you think one of these should be honoured this year? Let us know! Have an egregious example that gets your own blood boiling? Nominations can be e-mailed to our president at email@example.com.
The CAJ is Canada's largest national professional organization for journalists from all media, representing over 600 members across the country. The CAJ's primary roles are to provide high-quality professional development for its members and public-interest advocacy.
SOURCE: Canadian Association of Journalists
For further information: Hugo Rodrigues, CAJ president - 613-933-3160 ext. 225, 613-330-8396 cell, firstname.lastname@example.org