The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press (RCFP) reports on two rulings at the end of 2009 that will help journalists’ freedom of speech in Canada.
[Two] rulings established a “responsible journalism” defence that protects reporters sued for libel whose stories were in the public interest […]
In the first case, The Toronto Star was saved from paying $1 million in punitive damages – one of the largest awards in Canadian libel history – over a story detailing controversial plans for a new golf course. In the other case, a $135,000 verdict against the Ottawa Citizen was overturned over a story about a former police officer who misrepresented himself at Ground Zero, The Globe and Mail reported.
Advocates say the two rulings effectively revamp Canadian libel law to protect reporters – and extends the same protection to internet journalists.