The rabble podcast network offers an alternative take on politics, entertainment, society, stories, community and life in general. All opinions belong to the podcaster; however, podcasters are expected to adhere to our guidelines. We welcome new podcasters -- contact us for details.

Protecting the right to protest: Free speech versus corporate power

One aspect of corporate power that is being exercised more and more these days is the Slap Suit. When powerful people and corporations don't like what's being said, they try to shut down the discussion with lawsuits. Even when those lawsuits are groundless, the cost has the potential to shut down media organizations, especially those which are not able to afford costly libel insurance.

Today's program is all about this method of stifling dissent, and what can be done to limit the use and efficacy of slap suits to shut down citizens' voices.

"Protecting the Right to Protest: Free Speech versus Corporate Power." It was recorded at Media Democracy Days 2016 in November in Vancouver.

Speakers:

1.) Robert Hackett (introductions), is a professor at the Simon Fraser University School of Communication where he specializes in media reform, peace journalism, and the textual analysis of news. 

2.) Josh Paterson is the Executive Director of the British Colombia Civil Liberties Association (BCCLA). As a part of the BCCLA, Paterson has covered issues ranging from Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women to the right-to-die debate.

3.) Linda Solomon Wood is the CEO of the Observer Media Group and is also Editor-in-Chief of the National Observer. The National Observer focuses on investigative reporting and daily news about climate, energy, the environment, and current political affairs.

4.) Alan Dutton is a member of the Canadian Anti-Racism Education and Research Society. Dutton previously served on provincial committees developing anti-racism strategies and participated in federal organisations presenting workshops and research on racism.

5.) Michael Vonn is the Policy Director at the British Colombian Civil Liberties Association (BCCLA). Vonn has been published in a number of journals, including the Birckjbeck Law Review, Surveilance and Society, the Journal of Parliamentary and Political Law, and Case Western Reserve Journal of International Law.

Thanks to CJSF at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby for letting us use their recordings. And to Tania Ehret, rabble.ca's liaison with Media Democracy Days. And to Braden Alexander for editing and scripting this for rabble.ca.

 

 

 

Like this podcast? rabble is reader and listener supported journalism.

Thank you for reading this story...

More people are reading rabble.ca than ever and unlike many news organizations, we have never put up a paywall – at rabble we’ve always believed in making our reporting and analysis free to all. But media isn’t free to produce. rabble’s total budget is likely less than what big corporate media spend on photocopying (we kid you not!) and we do not have any major foundation, sponsor or angel investor. Our only supporters are people and organizations -- like you. This is why we need your help.

If everyone who visits rabble and likes it chipped in a couple of dollars per month, our future would be much more secure and we could do much more: like the things our readers tell us they want to see more of: more staff reporters and more work to complete the upgrade of our website.

We’re asking if you could make a donation, right now, to set rabble on solid footing in 2017.

Make a donation.Become a monthly supporter.

Comments

We welcome your comments! rabble.ca embraces a pro-human rights, pro-feminist, anti-racist, queer-positive, anti-imperialist and pro-labour stance, and encourages discussions which develop progressive thought. Our full comment policy can be found here. Learn more about Disqus on rabble.ca and your privacy here. Please keep in mind:

Do

  • Tell the truth and avoid rumours.
  • Add context and background.
  • Report typos and logical fallacies.
  • Be respectful.
  • Respect copyright - link to articles.
  • Stay focused. Bring in-depth commentary to our discussion forum, babble.

Don't

  • Use oppressive/offensive language.
  • Libel or defame.
  • Bully or troll.
  • Post spam.
  • Engage trolls. Flag suspect activity instead.