Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Media ignore CTV reporter in US jail

You would think that the news of a journalist employed by CTV (yes, that CTV) being held without charges by US authorities might be of interest to Canadian media consumers. You would think that the sexiness of the storyline - lawyers working around the clock for three months while nobody breathes a word until finally unveiled last week - would peak the interest of a few editors. And you'd think the pressure of campaigns by two press freedom organizations (RSF and CPJ) would help the story leap onto the front page.

A journalist working for a Canadian firm, imprisoned without rights, by our leading ally and neighbor, while rights organizations scream... No, no story there!

Try as I might, I can only find two Canadian newspapers who carried the story:

Toronto Star, Feb 20/08, pg A16 (454 words)

Ottawa Citizen, Feb 20/08, pg A8 (193 words)

Interestingly, the Globe and Mail, which is owned by the same company as CTV, appears not to have mentioned the imprisoned man at all.

The latest on Jawed Ahmad:

Pentagon should disclose evidence, charges against Afghan journalist

New York, February 26, 2008—U.S. authorities should disclose evidence and specify charges against Afghan journalist Jawed Ahmad, who has been held by the military since late October, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. In a February 22 letter to CPJ, Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said Ahmad had been designated an “unlawful enemy combatant” but did not disclose the allegations or evidence against the journalist. ...

“Although the Pentagon has made a very serious assertion, it has yet to disclose any supporting evidence. And despite holding Jawed Ahmad for four months, authorities have yet to charge him with a crime,” said CPJ Executive Director Joel Simon. ... (link)
Oops, I guess I spoke too soon. After I blogged on this, the Globe and Mail did finally take note, as did the National Post and several Canadian dailies. However, the only paper which gave it the front page prominence it so deserves was the Whitehorse Star:
Globe and Mail. Feb 28. p A14
St. John Telegraph-Journal. Feb 2. p A7
National Post. Feb 28. p A5
Toronto Star. Feb 28. p. A4 (Column by Olivia Ward)
Alaska Highway News (Fort St. John). Feb 27. p A1
Whitehorse Star. Feb 27. p 16
(Source: Proquest full-text electronic search.)

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