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Muzzled Media and the Common Great Lakes Agenda

By: /
27 June, 2011
By: Jennifer Jeffs

Past President of the Canadian International Council (CIC).

Last week, the CIC-Waterloo Branch hosted their annual global media panel “Muzzled Media – The Global Challenge” with the Centre for International Governance Innovation. The panel featured Lynn Haddrall, Editor-in-Chief, The Record; Michelle Shephard National Security Reporter, Toronto Star; Allan Thompson, Associate Professor of Journalism, Carleton University and Director at the Centre for Media and Transitional Societies; Anna Maria Tremonti, Host of The Current, CBC Radio; and Sonia Verma Foreign Correspondent, The Globe and Mail. The panel focused on the major risks to journalists working abroad, and the issue of access to information and censorship.

As the launch of this website is due to our musings at the CIC regarding the ways in which technology has altered the roles of traditional media and the skills needed by a foreign correspondent, we found this event particularly timely!

The CIC was proud to partner with The Mowat Centre at the University of Toronto and the Brookings Institution Metropolitan Policy Program, on the Great Lakes Summit last week.

The summit was based on the idea that regions will be just as important as nation-states in ensuring the well-being of communities in the decades ahead. The summit white paper “The Vital Commons,” concludes that communities across the Great Lakes – St. Lawrence Region share common challenges, but are rich with the assets needed to succeed in the global economy. The report fleshes out an agenda for working together to overcoming the challenges and leverage the assets.

We would be very interested in receiving your reactions to the common agenda proposed by this Canada-US think tank partnership.

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Journalism in Canada has suffered a devastating decline over the last two decades. Dozens of newspapers and outlets have shuttered. Remaining newsrooms are smaller. Nowhere is this erosion more acute than in the coverage of foreign policy and international news. It’s expensive, and Canadians, oceans away from most international upheavals, pay the outside world comparatively little attention.

At Open Canada, we believe this must change. If anything, the pandemic has taught us we can’t afford to ignore the changing world. What’s more, we believe, most Canadians don’t want to. Many of us, after all, come from somewhere else and have connections that reach around the world.

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