Award-winning Guardian U.S. journalist Margaret Sullivan to be keynote speaker at annual World Press Freedom Day Luncheon, May 2

By March 18, 2024 No Comments

Awards luncheon will also recognize winners of Press Freedom, Career Achievement, Student Achievement and International Editorial Cartoon Contest awards

(OTTAWA, MARCH 18, 2024) World Press Freedom Canada is pleased to announce American journalist Margaret Sullivan will be our keynote speaker for the 2024 press freedom awards luncheon to be held at Ottawa’s National Arts Centre on May 2.

2024 has been called the biggest election year in history, with more than 60 countries representing nearly half the world’s population going to the polls, including in the United States.

These elections are taking place against a backdrop of a global democratic decline, which threatens human rights including media freedom. The protection of a free press is a critical component for a healthy democracy, says UNESCO, the United Nations agency that established May 3 as World Press Freedom Day in 1993.

Sullivan is an award-winning political columnist for the Guardian US newspaper and the executive director of Columbia University’s Newmark Center for Journalism Ethics and Security. She is former media columnist for The Washington Post and public editor at The New York Times.

Sullivan’s work on the intersection of journalism and politics underscore the critical role of the media as a bulwark of democracy, says WPFC president Heather Bakken.

“She’s not shy about advocating for an increasing need for traditional journalistic principles such as accuracy, transparency, and accountability, which are sorely lacking in many opinion pieces and on social media,” Bakken says. “Journalism ethics and security are vital for maintaining credibility, protecting journalists, and ensuring responsible reporting – all of which will be critically important this year as Americans head to the polls in what will be a rematch of 2020.”

Given the backdrop of an American presidential election, Sullivan’s address to the audience will be informative and provocative.”

In addition to Sullivan’s address, WPFC will present the following awards:

  • Press Freedom Award, awarded to a nominee who demonstrates that they overcame challenges including the cloak of secrecy, legal manoeuvres, intimidation, or threats to their safety or career while producing work of public-interest journalism.
  • Career Achievement Award in honour of Spencer Moore, which honours a Canadian journalist who has demonstrated ongoing tenacity in pursuit of press freedom and freedom of information.
  • A new Student Achievement Award, given to a student journalist who overcame press freedom challenges in producing outstanding work for a media platform.
  • International Editorial Cartoon Contest, awarded to a cartoonist who best captures this year’s theme, Artificial Intelligence: Yes or No?

Nominations for the Press Freedom, Career Achievement and Student Achievement awards can be made online at https://bit.ly/WPFCAwardsPrix2024 by March 22 at 5 p.m. EDT.

Submissions to the International Editorial Cartoon Contest can be made here  by April 5.

Catherine Clark, president at Catherine Clark Communications, will be the emcee.

Tickets to the luncheon are available at bit.ly/WPFC-Luncheon2024.

Special thanks to our patron, the Canadian Commission for UNESCO, and our sustaining corporate sponsor, the Canadian Bankers Association.

About World Press Freedom Canada

World Press Freedom Canada is an Ottawa-based, non-profit volunteer organization that promotes free expression and media rights. It celebrates UNESCO’s World Press Freedom Day by honouring the award winners. This year World Press Freedom Day is May 3.

For more information

Shawn McCarthy, WPFC Past President, 613 294-4491, info@worldpressfreedomcanada.ca