Radio-Television News Directors' Association of Canada - News Release

May 7, 2010

TORONTO, May 7 /CNW/ - RTNDA Canada is disappointed in today's ruling by the Supreme Court of Canada on the issue of journalists protecting sources. The association believes the court has missed an opportunity to strengthen public interest journalism.

"History has shown that whistleblowers have helped expose corruption and wrongful practices," says RTNDA Canada President Cal Johnstone. "By preventing the media from guaranteeing these sources can remain anonymous, people who want to do the right thing will be more reluctant to come forward."

In an 8-to-1 ruling today, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled journalists have no constitutional right to protect confidential sources.

Despite rejecting the argument that journalists have a blanket right to protect sources, RTNDA takes some comfort in the fact that today's ruling emphasizes the important role of confidential sources in newsgathering and sets out clear criteria for when they should be revealed. "We hope the court's direction that protection of sources should be dealt with on a case-by-case basis sends a clear signal to lower courts that forcing journalists to reveal sources should only happen in exceptional circumstances."

RTNDA Canada is the voice of electronic journalists and news managers in Canada. The members of RTNDA Canada recognize the responsibility of broadcast 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 RTNDA Canada Code of Ethics, adopted by the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council, is used to measure fairness and accuracy in our profession.

For further information: Sherry Denesha, Operations Manager, RTNDA Canada at (416) 756-2213 or email: sherry@rtndacanada.com


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