The Cost of Media Freedom: The voice of local media in the fight against disinformation

The Embassy of Canada is organizing a webinar on media freedom, safeguarding local voices and quality journalism in Canada and in Finland on 22 March. Both News Media Canada chair Bob Cox, and president and CEO John Hinds will be making presentations.

The session will run from 10:00-11:45 EST.

The pandemic has exacerbated a trend in small media markets – fewer local and regional voices trying to keep audiences informed with scarcer resources in the face of shifting media platforms.

The result is a diminished local capacity to tell stories, and possibly even an easier path to
promoting disinformation. Finland and Canada are robust democracies with long-running histories of freedom of the press. Both the countries are officially bilingual with strong, established public broadcasters that serve geographically diverse areas and remote communities. Both also have minority communities including Indigenous persons. Given Canadian and Finnish interest in supporting robust public debate and democratic institutions, in preserving regional identities, and understanding and challenging disinformation, what market and policy lessons can we draw from our countries’
recent experiences? What are the measures being taken to support quality journalism? What is the role of local journalism in the fight against disinformation and are local outlets as important as, for example, larger national news outlets?

The Embassy of Canada to Finland has gathered actors in Finland and Canada to discuss our commitment to media freedom and the role that local journalism plays in upholding our core democratic institutions. Registered participants will receive a link (Teams) to join prior to the event. Participants are encouraged to submit questions for our panelists in advance or to write them in the webinar chat.

Please register by sending an e-mail to by
March 18, 2021.