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These are the stories we’re watching this week. Here is your Weekly Wire:

  • After a two-year legal battle, Vice News reporter Ben Makuch will likely be forced to surrender his correspondence and interview materials with a Canadian ISIS recruit to the RCMP. Last Wednesday, a three-judge panel of the Ontario Court of Appeal sided with the Mounties. Makuch wrote about Farah Shirdon, a Calgary-born man who travelled to the Middle East in March 2014 to join the infamous terrorist organization. The RCMP took notice. In February 2015, it issued a production order for Makuch’s correspondence. Since then, Vice and a number of other advocacy groups—including Canadian Journalists for Free Expression and Reporters Without Borders—have argued that complying with the RCMP’s order will erode the ability of journalists to protect sensitive sources. Vice said on Wednesday it intends to appeal the decision with the Supreme Court of Canada. Expect to see our own profile of Makuch, written by RRJ senior business editor Dylan Freeman-Grist, in the coming weeks.
  • Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government quietly put its 2015 campaign promise to expand the Access to Information Act on hold. The reason? “It’s a complex matter,” a spokesman for Treasury Board president Scott Brison told the Canadian Press, and the government “is committed to taking the time to do it properly.” The original pledge was outlined in “A Fair and Open Government,” a campaign document promising that Access to Information requests would apply to the Prime Minister’s Office as well as other ministerial offices, which are currently exempted from the act. The law, which hasn’t been significantly reformed since it was enacted in 1983, has faced criticism for being too slow, rife with loopholes, and poorly enforced.

To see more frequent updates from the RRJ, please follow us on Twitter. You can also subscribe to our weekly newsletter for more in-depth news analysis. We’ll be back with your next Weekly Wire on Monday, April 3. Expect our print edition to hit shelves soon.

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About the author

This is a joint byline for the Ryerson Review of Journalism. All content is produced by students in their final year of the graduate or undergraduate program at the Ryerson School of Journalism.

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