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Home Sections Canadian Happenings Canada Observes "World Press Freedom Day"
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Thursday, 09 May 2013 14:20


At least 118 journalists were killed last year and another 185 are in detention, says Canada's top ethnic journalist, taking note of the dangers and risks to life and limb of those who engage in disseminating news to the world. Thomas Saras, president of National Ethnic Press and Media Council of Canada, was speaking at the opening ceremony commemorating World Press Freedom Day at Toronto City Hall on Monday. Toronto Mayor Rob Ford spoke briefly too, including Ontario Immigration Minister Michael Coteau and other provincial officials.

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WORLD PRESS FREEDOM DAY IN TORONTO
Top Ethnic Journalist: Governments Must Accept Criticism


By ROMEO P. MARQUEZ
Member, Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE), Asian-American Journalists Association (AAJA), National Ethnic Press and Media Council of Canada (NEPMCC) and Reporters Without Borders


T ORONTO - Canada's top ethnic journalist has urged governments to accept "enlightened public criticism" as he took note of the continued attacks on journalists and on the right of people to free expression.

At least 118 journalists were killed last year and another 185 are in detention in various parts of the globe, said  Thomas S. Saras, president of the 620-member National Ethnic Press and Media Council of Canada (NEPMCC).

"The citizens in a democracy are entitled to knowledge of the essential facts controlling their lives," he states during the opening day ceremony on May 6 at Toronto City Hall of the week-long exhibition honouring World Press Freedom Day declared by the United Nations.

Saras said in the last few years, freedom of the press has reached its lowest level. He named eight countries, notably the "theocratic regime of Iran," and 39 leaders, among them heads of states and terrorist organizations, for stilling people's right to freely express themselves.

"The top 10 countries where most of our sisters and brothers were detained were Turkey with 69, Iran 61, China 32, Eritrea 28, Syria 15, Vietnam 14, Ethiopia 6, Saudi Arabia 4 and so on," he points out.

According to Saras, at least 23 professional and 53 part-time journalists have been killed in Syria while the fate of another seven remains undetermined.

"The whole structure of democracy rests upon the public opinion . . . we are ruled by public opinion," he says at the event which was also attended by Ontario provincial and city officials led by Toronto Mayor Rob Ford. (Video at: &feature=youtu.be" style="font-family: Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif;">&feature=youtu.be).

"This is the reason that a fully informed public opinion through the full and free expression of the press and media we can keep control of our democratic institutions and our elected officials so that they will be able of functioning properly," he adds.

Saras, who's also editor of the monthly Greek paper Patrides, also declared that journalists have a duty to see that they serve the highest ideals of truth, justice and fair play to create wholesome relationship among the various cultural, racial and linguistic groups and the government.

"This principle can be translated to the fact that by free press we mean a press untrammeled by prejudice and unfettered by selfish bias, serving no other cause but that of the truth and recognizes no other master but justice," he adds. (Free press, PPCO version: " style="font-family: Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; color: blue; cursor: pointer; font-size: medium;">).

Given its broad multi-ethnic and multi-cultural base across Canada, NEPMCC members have altogether an estimated mass readership of five million which could potentially make or unmake the country's political landscape.

(This Currents & Breaking News may be posted online, broadcast or reprinted upon request by interested parties. Permission by the author or the editor must be obtained before any re-posting online or re-publication in print or re-broadcast. Copyright by Romeo P. Marquez, Editor, Philippine Village Voice, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Volume 7, Issue no. 31, May 8, 2013. Email at: TheFilipinoWebChannel@gmail.com PhilVoiceNews@aol.com or CurrentsBreakingNews@gmail.com).

Background videos of my You Tube channels:
1. Romar Media Canada: Redefining Community News at The Gotcha Journalist Channel's Currents & Breaking News: &feature=channel&list=UL" rel="nofollow" style="color: blue; cursor: pointer;">&feature=channel&list=UL
3. In Service of the Community: http://animoto.com/play/Zt02JnetbCSlqEqNqIobgg

Other stories for the mainstream available at: http://digitaljournal.com/user/130094/news

My news and food channels can be viewed by clicking the links:
1. The Gotcha Journalist Channel's Currents & Breaking News at:http://www.youtube.com/user/TheGotchaJournalist#g/u
3. Filipino Web Entertainment Channel at: http://www.youtube.com/user/FilWebEntertainment#g/
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PHILIPPINE VILLAGE VOICE/The Filipino Web Channel - Redefining Community News
Currents & Breaking News 

Volume 7, Issue No. 31
/ News That Fears None, Views That Favor Nobody /

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 . . . . A community service of The Filipino Web Channel (TheFilipinoWebChannel@gmail.com) and the Philippine Village Voice (PhilVoiceNews@gmail.com) for the information and understanding of Filipinos and the diverse communities in North America . . . . . .






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