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CanWest wins Golden Gag Award PDF Print E-mail
Jun 04, 2008 at 12:28 PM
Ceremony Friday, June 6 at noon at Granville Square, 200 Granville Street, Vancouver

This year’s Golden Gag Award will be presented to Canwest, Canada’s largest media empire, at noon on Friday (June 6) at the Granville Square, 200 Granville St., the home of the Vancouver Sun and Province newspapers.

Sponsored by the Seriously Free Speech Committee, the award recognizes individuals or companies who have excelled in limiting free speech, intimidating opposing points of view, and the skilled use of SLAPP (Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation) suits to attempt to silence critics.

Committee spokesperson Jef Keighley said what clinched the award for Canwest was the way it went overboard in filing a suit against retired academic Mordecai Briemberg for producing a parody of the Vancouver Sun.

“Not only did Canwest use all legal means to crack down on humourous criticism of the company’s pro-Israel positions, they filed a suit against a person who had nothing to do with producing it,” he said.  “The company’s audacity and aggressiveness simply took our breath away.”

The Golden Gag Award is to be presented at a ceremony featuring former journalist and historian Marc Edge, author of the book Asper Nation; Mordecai Briemberg, this year’s winner of the YMCA’s international Power of Peace Award; and well-known US social activist, singer and songwriter David Rovics.

Committee organizers plan to present the award to Patricia Graham, editor-in-chief of the Vancouver Sun, on behalf of the owners of Canwest, a media conglomerate that owns The National Post, 10 metropolitan newspapers, 30 community papers, 80 magazines, speciality cable channels and the Global Television Network as well as newspapers and radio stations in other countries.

Other nominees for the prize included Barrick Gold Corp., which is suing a small Quebec publisher over a book that alleges the company played a role in the expropriation of land belonging to Tanzanian miners more than a decade ago, and the municipality of Powell River, which is suing several citizens for criticizing town development plans.

For more information, contact:
Jef Keighley at 778 999 1950
Mordecai Briemberg at 604 298 9638

SERIOUSLY FREE SPEECH COMMITTEE
PO Box 57112, RPO East Hastings St., Vancouver V5K 5G6
Website - http://www.seriouslyfreespeech.ca/  Email - info@seriouslyfreespeech.ca

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