Media Advisory - Free Speech Awards to be announced in Ottawa

    OTTAWA, April 28 /CNW Telbec/ - Canadian journalists facing threats to
their free expression rights and international cartoonists whose work
illustrates those rights will be honored at the World Press Freedom Awards
luncheon in Ottawa on Tuesday, May 5.
    The Canadian Committee for World Press Freedom (CCWPF) will announce the
winner of its 11th Press Freedom Award and the three winners of the 9th
International Editorial Cartoon Competition in a news release on Tuesday, May
5th, embargoed until 12 noon.
    The event is presented by the Canadian Committee for World Press Freedom,

        What:  Press Freedom Awards Luncheon
        Who:   Moderator: Don Newman, Senior Parliamentary Editor, CBC News
               Principal Speaker: Graeme Smith, The Globe and Mail, on "The
               dangerous and confusing search for truth in Afghanistan."
        When:  Tuesday, May 5, 12 Noon Sharp
        Where: National Arts Centre, Panorama Room, Ottawa
        Luncheon Tickets: $40. Reserve by calling 613-237-3575

         Plan coverage and download the winning cartoons beforehand!

    Newspapers may download copies of the winning and runner-up cartoons from
the Canadian Newspaper Association web site: and the CCWPF,

    Media Contacts: David Gollob (613) 301-6162 (cell)
                    Hugh Winsor (613) 296-3601

    Please advise us if you will be sending a camera crew, or have special
needs. The programme will commence sharp at 12 noon.

    (Note: A News Media table is available. However, if you wish to have
    lunch please reserve by telephoning 613 237-3575 or download the
    registration form at Luncheon is $40)


    The Awards are presented by the Canadian Committee for World Press
Freedom, chaired by Jim Orban, Publisher of The Ottawa Citizen. Since 1992,
when UNESCO dedicated May 3 as World Press Freedom Day, organizations around
the globe have held events to honour media workers who have sacrificed life
and liberty to bring their stories to the public.
    "Threats to press freedom and freedom of expression know no geographic
boundaries, as this year's nominations attest," said CCWPF President David
Gollob. "Eighty seven journalists (according to IFEX) were killed worldwide in
2008 and many others suffered threats, physical attacks and, increasingly,
kidnapping, including several Canadians. When powerful forces seek to muzzle a
free press we all suffer."

    The CCWPF's Press Freedom Award goes to a Canadian journalist or media
worker who has made a significant contribution to press freedom during the
past 15 months. It consists of a prize of $2,000 and a certificate of honour
from the Canadian Commission for UNESCO and CCWPF. In 2009, the nominees were:

    (*)Reporter Daniel Leblanc, nominated by the Globe and Mail for his
    willingness to risk judicial censure for protecting a confidential source
    in the sponsorship scandal;
    (*)Reporter William Marsden, nominated by The Gazette for his reporting
    of a land deal involving the husband of Parti Québecois leader Pauline
    Marois. A resulting lawsuit against the newspaper threatens to stifle
    legitimate investigation into an issue of public interest;
    (*)Brian Macleod Rogers and Paul Schabas, lawyers nominated by the
    Canadian Newspaper Association for their outstanding work, often without
    monetary reward, fighting for important principles that help keep the
    press free and our democracy healthy;
    (*)Graeme Smith of The Globe and Mail, nominated by Canadian Journalists
    for Free Expression (CJFE) for his reporting on Afghanistan. Smith is
    credited with sparking an important debate in Canada about the moral and
    legal parameters of Canada's mission in Afghanistan.

    The International Cartoon Competition carries awards of $1,500, $870 and
$500. This year's competition attracted 500 cartoons from numerous countries
on the theme "Protecting Privacy?" - a concept often employed by governments
and law enforcement bodies to deny the release of information to the public.

For further information:

For further information: Bob Carty, (613) 730-1007,;
David Gollob, (613) 301-6162 (c),

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Canadian Committee for World Press Freedom

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