Two Reuters journalists have been sentenced by a Myanmar court to seven years of imprisonment for illegal possession of official documents, media reports said.
The court's decision is being condemned internationally by governments and rights groups.
Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo had been reporting on the brutal crackdown on the Rohingya in Rakhine state when they were arrested and charged with violating Official Secrets Act, punishable by up to 14 years in prison.
Wa Lone left and Kyaw Soe Oo right/Courtesy of Reuters
They had pleaded not guilty, contending they were framed by police.
The journalists testified they did not solicit or knowingly possess any secret documents.
"Today is a sad day for Myanmar, Reuters journalists Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo, and the press everywhere," Stephen J. Adler, Reuters editor in chief, said in a statement.
"These two admirable reporters have already spent nearly nine months in prison on false charges designed to silence their reporting and intimidate the press. Without any evidence of wrongdoing and in the face of compelling evidence of a police setup, today's ruling condemns them to the continued loss of their freedom."
Wa Lone, 32, and Kyaw Soe Oo, 28, both testified they suffered from harsh treatment during their initial interrogations. Their several appeals for release on bail were rejected.
Kevin Krolicki, Reuters regional editor for Asia, said outside the court that it was "heartbreaking for friends and colleagues and family of Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo, who in addition to the outrage many will feel, are deprived of their friends and colleagues, husband and father."
Wa Lone's wife, Pan Ei Mon, gave birth to the couple's first child in Yangon on Aug. 10, but Wa Lone has not yet seen his daughter.
Bob Rae, Canada's special envoy to Myanmar in the wake of the Rohingya crisis, called it "a travesty."
Praising the bravery of the reporters, Tirana Hassan, Amnesty International's director of crisis response said in a statement,
"Instead of targeting these two journalists, the Myanmar authorities should have been going after those responsible for killings, rape, torture and the torching of hundreds of Rohingya villages."
Dozens of journalists and pro-democracy activists marched Saturday in Yangon, Myanmar's biggest city, in support of the reporters.
Michelle Bachelet, the new UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and Britain's prime minister Theresa May called on Myanmar to free the journalists.
Investigators working for the UN's top human rights body said last week that genocide charges should be brought against senior Myanmar military officers over the crackdown.
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)
#LaPresse; #Montreeal; #Desmaraisfamily; #EdwardGreenspon; #Pierre-ElliottLevasseur; #LaPresse+; #TheShatteredMirror; #Pierre-ElliottLevasseur; #MélanieJoly
Montreal/Ottawa, May 12 (Canadian-Media): La Presse’s announced this week its plan of adopting a not-for-profit structure, to enable utilization of operational profits, any government assistance and donor funds to produce high-quality reporting, media reports said.
This factor would reportedly result in La Presse’s -- one of the largest and most prestigious newsrooms in Canada – in cutting ties with its longtime owner, the Desmarais family.
The Desmarais family added they would be donating $50 million to the not-for-profit.
La Presse had stopped printing paper copies in December 2017 and went exclusively digital, featuring a website, mobile app and a daily tablet edition called La Presse+.
Edward Greenspon, former editor-in-chief of the Globe and Mail and author of a federal government-commissioned study earlier this year said it marked a.historic day in the evolution of Canadian newspapers.
Greenspon, in his report “The Shattered Mirror” published in January 2017, recommended the federal government to support the non-profit media organizations to qualify as recipients for from philanthropic foundations.
La Presse president Pierre-Elliott Levasseur had also urged the federal government to make suitable donations.
Canada lacks enough philanthropic money, said Greenspon, to support journalism on its own and is reportedly far behind the United States, Germany and other countries when it comes to such innovative setups.
The U.S. is home to dozens of not-for-profit news outlets such as ProPublica and the Marshall Project, which have secured backing from charitable foundations and philanthropists.
The government had allocated, in its budget earlier this year $50 million over five years to support independent, non-governmental organizations to promote local journalism in underserved communities.
Heritage Minister Mélanie Joly didn't go into specifics when asked this week about how the government would support La Presse or whether she expects other legacy print media to follow its lead.
"This is a question you need to ask to the media groups themselves because obviously they will take these decisions," she said in the House of Commons during question period.
"Meanwhile, as a government, I've said it many times, our position is that we want to support the media sector, but at the same time, we want to respect the independence of journalism."
It was suggested that Ottawa could make legislative changes that would ensure money being made by internet giants "is funnelled back to content providers like news media and cultural industries in Canada."
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)
#CBCOttawa, #Radio-TelevisionDigitalNewsAssociationofCanada, #radionewscast, #digitaljournalism, #AshleyBurke, #ElyseSkura, #AHeartbeatAway, #defibrillators, #Ottawaschools, #RegisteredNurses'AssociationofOntario, #GordSinclair, #diversityjournalism
Ottawa, Apr 22 (Canadian-Media): CBC Ottawa was awarded three top prizes for its live coverage, radio newscast and digital journalism, by Radio-Television Digital News Association of Canada at the awards ceremony Saturday in Toronto, Ontario, media reports said.
In 2017 also CBC Ottawa had taken home three awards and six nominations in the central region, consisting of news outlets in Ontario and Quebec.
CBC Ottawa's Ashley Burke and Elyse Skura were both awarded at the Radio-Television Digital News Association of Canada awards Saturday.
Burke received the association's first-ever excellence in innovation award for her online story A Heartbeat Away, which helped bring to light the absence and inaccessibility of defibrillators in Ottawa schools.
Burke had told the tragic story of an eight-year-old boy whose heart stopped beating during recess one day in late February of 2017. His school, Orleans Wood Elementary, did not have a defibrillator on site.
Reporter Elyse Skura was honoured with the Byron MacGregor award for having the best radio newscast.
CBC Ottawa's Our Ottawa team also received a separate award Friday from the Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario for their in-depth television feature on sickle cell disease. Adele Cardamone-Martel, Adrian Harewood, Emilien Juteau and Gerry Buffet contributed to the feature.
CBC Ottawa was also honoured by Gord Sinclair with an award for its supper-hour Canada Day 2017 special which was carried live from Sparks Street on television and on Facebook.
Nominations for six awards in breaking news coverage, city affairs analysis, video, podcasts, diversity journalism and television newscasts were also received by CBC Ottawa's local station.
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)
#Gender-payDisparity, #SonyaFatah #CBC/RadioCanadaemployees, #AccesstoInformationAct, #UniversityofOttawa, #CatherineTait
Ottawa, Apr 20 (Canadian-Media): Despite the public broadcaster's gender-neutral criteria to recruit and retain highly sought-after employees, male hosts who work for the CBC/Radio Canada make an average of almost 9.5 percent more than their female counterparts, media reports said.
Most employment categories listed in a recent CBC disclosure document such as male editors, managers and producers also all make more than their female counterparts reflecting the gender disparity in salaries.
Female reporters are an exception in this case as they make on average almost 3.5 percent more than men in the same role.
The data were released in response to a request made under the Access to Information Act by a University of Ottawa academic.
Even if some of the differences in the average remuneration for male and female staff were reportedly explained by their length of tenure in each “pay band,” or unionized salary category, the most significant source of the disparity is due to what the CBC calls “addrem,” or additional remuneration.
Sonya Fatah, an assistant professor at the Ryerson School of Journalism, suggested the disclosure prompts more questions.
“Research shows that women shy away from negotiating for higher pay not because they lack confidence but because they may suffer the social cost of entering negotiations, whether those negotiations fail or succeed.”
In contrast to a number of other Canadian media companies, women occupy many of the top jobs at the CBC, including the heads of English-language services, news and TV programming.
Reportedly Catherine Tait will become the broadcaster’s first female president when she takes over in July.
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)