Superior Court judge gives damages to people targeted by SLAPP suit

I was counsel in this case. I represented the newspaper publisher defendant. On Friday, I heard we won our SLAPP motion. The plaintiffs in the lawsuit, who are the former mayor and deputy mayor of the Town of the Blue Mountains, west of Collingwood, have been ordered to pay all of the lawyers’ bills and … Read moreSuperior Court judge gives damages to people targeted by SLAPP suit

Random Notes on Coverage of the 2019 Canadian Federal Election

Just a few random notes as the federal election campaign kicks off. I’ve had a very busy last few weeks with my law practice, and have been tossing some ideas around in my spare time. Here’s a look at some of this campaign’s challenges to the public’s right to know: The Hill media The aging … Read moreRandom Notes on Coverage of the 2019 Canadian Federal Election

Jesse Brown’s latest flop: making $20 by attacking a charity

I didn’t start this site to talk about Jesse Brown. It’s really supposed to be about the intersection of media, law and politics. But damn, when Canadaland is bad, it’s really the worst political/news site in Canada. I have been following his campaign against WE Charity, which is an organization I deeply believe in. And … Read moreJesse Brown’s latest flop: making $20 by attacking a charity

It’s about Jesse Brown’s money

An overview: The Government of Canada’s proposed $600 million media tax credit has dominated news blogs and chatrooms.[1] At the heart of the criticism is whether the temptation of dollars will influence coverage of the government.[2] I’ve taught journalism and media studies at Concordia University and the history of media propaganda at Carleton University. I … Read moreIt’s about Jesse Brown’s money

Canada considers new hate crimes regime

I am not going to do an analysis on this topic now. I have a conflict of interest because of my wife’s employer.  However, other people have done solid coverage on this. Thanks to Richard Franklin Carter for these links: Kathleen Harris of CBC News reports: https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/justice-committee-online-hate-steyn-1.5161259 In the Law Times, Gabrielle Giroday reports: https://www.lawtimesnews.com/author/gabrielle-giroday/combating-online-hate-could-mean-legal-change-17280/ Marc … Read moreCanada considers new hate crimes regime

Here’s an anniversary you won’t hear about: it’s 100 years since World War I’s press censorship ended

(This is adapted from a piece I wrote for Maclean’s magazine earlier this year. The piece is about censorship, but the real topic is the value of news — even when that news is bad. Press censorship was extended after the end of the First World War while the government was trying to crush what … Read moreHere’s an anniversary you won’t hear about: it’s 100 years since World War I’s press censorship ended

Hanging the Sin Eater: International Criminal Law’s Failure to Engage with the Role of Media in a Criminal State.

Mark Bourrie MJ JD PhD Barrister and Solicitor, Ottawa, Canada Mainstream news media play an important role in the political system. They can use their authoritative voices to give domestic and foreign legitimacy to regimes. In contrast, fringe press is easily identified by its partisanship and refusal to give space to contrasting opinions. Fringe media … Read moreHanging the Sin Eater: International Criminal Law’s Failure to Engage with the Role of Media in a Criminal State.

Canadaland’s WE obsession: Foreshadowing Jesse Brown’s Attempt to Take Down a Children’s Charity

The next chapter in the bizarre saga of Canadaland trying to take down a children’s charity is about to be written. I’m going to give you a sneak preview of the picture Jesse Brown will be trying to paint this time, based on answers to questions I sent to WE and Canadaland. I have spent … Read moreCanadaland’s WE obsession: Foreshadowing Jesse Brown’s Attempt to Take Down a Children’s Charity

Parody sites can be whacked for IP breaches

A web site that parodied the Journal de Montreal has been whacked with a $23,500 judgment for  trademark infringement. The judge took the site’s profits from the parody (plus costs). That means college papers that traditionally do spoof issues must be careful to make sure their parodies don’t look too much like the real thing. … Read moreParody sites can be whacked for IP breaches

How long can Jesse Brown keep up his vendetta against a children’s charity? (Hint: It’s not over)

 I was in Toronto in early May for the 2019 Toronto Watchdog Workshop on investigative journalism. The weekend event included several excellent panel discussions including Julian Sheer on Mastering the Investigate Interview, and Writing the Investigative Narrative with Susanne Craig from The New York Times. A draw for me was the final session of the … Read moreHow long can Jesse Brown keep up his vendetta against a children’s charity? (Hint: It’s not over)