RTDNA Canada Supports Plans to Repeal Restrictive Election Law

Jan 13, 2012

TORONTO, Jan. 13, 2012 /CNW/ - RTDNA Canada - The Association of Electronic Journalists - is pleased that the Minister of State for Democratic Reform Tim Uppal has announced plans to repeal section Section 329 of the Canada Elections Act, which prohibits transmission of election results to the public in a district where polling stations are still open.

Eight months ago, before the May 2nd federal election, RTDNA Canada stated our opposition to the law in the context of today's social media like Facebook and Twitter. The law was initially intended to curb national media outlets from "prematurely transmitting" electoral results across time zones, theoretically preventing election results in Eastern Canada from influencing voters in the West, despite a lack of evidence suggesting that has ever been the case.

"This is a victory for democracy," says RTDNA president Andy LeBlanc, "Not only for journalists and news organizations who risk being fined up to $25,000 for delivering the results of a democratic process, but for the millions of Canadians who are participating in the political process through social media."

Electronic journalists have adapted to changes in technology, and our membership even changed our name and amended our Code of Ethics to be inclusive to digital journalism. In our 50th anniversary year as a strong advocate of responsible and ethical electronic journalism, the repeal of the archaic Section 329 means we can continue to deliver election news to Canadians without fear of persecution.

RTDNA Canada is the voice of electronic journalists and news managers in Canada.  The members of RTDNA Canada recognize the responsibility of electronic journalists to promote and to protect the freedom to report independently about matters of public interest and to present a wide range of expressions, opinions and ideas. The RTDNA Canada Code of Ethics, adopted by the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council, is used to measure fairness and accuracy in the profession.

For further information:

contact RTDNA Canada:      
Sherry Denesha
Operations Manager
(416) 756-2213
    Andy LeBlanc


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