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CAUT Bulletin Archives

May 2002

Curbing Free Expression

The curbing of free expression in academia and the media will be the subject of a national conference sponsored by CAUT Nov. 1-3 at the Chateau Laurier Hotel in Ottawa. The conference will be cosponsored by Canada's largest union of media workers, the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada.

Sharing a common dedication to the free discovery, development and publication of information and ideas, academics and journalists have long argued the unfettered pursuit of knowledge is vital to the public interest.

"The ideals of both academic freedom and journalistic independence are being compromised by a number of forces," said CAUT president Vic Catano. "Academics and journalists, whose independence has long been sanctioned, find themselves increasingly constrained by new commercial pressures."

Catano also warned government policy tramples free expression. "Governments have introduced sweeping legislation that can threaten civil liberties and handcuff researchers and journalists, while at the same time withdrawing from the field of legislation in protection of public interest."

David Robinson, CAUT's associate executive director for policy and communications and conference organizer, said the purpose of the conference is to explore these developments and to begin to build a common response to shared interests between journalists and academics.

Conference details will be available at in late June.