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Statement by the Lieutenant Governor on World Press Freedom Day

2019-01-23-LG Office Sustainabilty Exhibition-AKM-Aly Manji-4237 (HH speaking)

“In 1993, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed May 3, World Press Freedom Day. Twenty-six years later, defending the independence of the media around the world remains critical.

This year’s theme, ‘Media for Democracy: Journalism and Elections in Times of Disinformation’ is especially important and worth considering for more than just one day. In these challenging and uncertain times, democracies are fragile. Fundamental to a well-functioning democracy is a civil society that is well and reliably informed. We rely on the media to do just that, encouraging both transparency and accountability, yet there are signs of wear and tear.

We hear concerns of exploitation and manipulation by digital technology. Our vocabularies now regularly make reference to fake news, junk science, and echo chambers. Fortunately the warning signs are being heeded and there are many Ontarians who are doing incredible work supporting the rights of journalists and combatting disinformation in Canada and around the world.

This is a time to pay tribute to the courage, dedication and integrity of journalists. I have met many, but would mention specifically Time 100’s Person of the Year, Maria Ressa, who continues to risk her personal freedom in the name of truth. She looks to Ontario as a symbol of hope and strength. Ms. Ressa’s words are on the walls of the Lieutenant Governor’s Suite in our new exhibition, ‘Speaking of Democracy,’ which features quotes about democracy from thinkers of every continent and throughout the ages.

From Maria Ressa, we chose the following lines: ‘A lie told a million times becomes the truth.’

May her words inspire us to reflect on the information we receive and to think critically as we engage with the media in the process of democracy.”

View the full exhibition and book free tour tickets here: http://www.lgontario.ca/en/2019/05/01/launch-of-speaking-of-democracy/

 

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Alexandra Tichinoff

Office of the Lieutenant Governor

alexandra.tichinoff@ontario.ca

416-325-7793