Vancouver riot, couple kiss in the street

When the Vancouver Canucks lost to the Boston Bruins last June, resulting in mobs of disgruntled Canucks fans rioting in their very own city, all Canadians suffered a terrible embarrassment.

For B.C. journalists, insult was only added to injury when the Vancouver Police Department demanded that six local media outlets, including The Globe and Mail, The Vancouver Sun, The Province, Global News, CBC, and CTV, release any and all photo and video images of the event. 

Though the outlets fought for four months to dissuade the judge from allowing police to seize the footage, a court order handed down in mid-January said that the media must comply. And comply they did. But not before posting their material online for their own readers.
Curious parties can now see all of the images taken by photographers at both The Province and The Vancouver Sun, allowing readers, according to the Sun, to “see whether their images are included in the massive police file assembled for riot investigation.”
Regarding the court order demanding their compliance, the outlets have all expressed dissatisfaction over their compromised journalistic independence. Troy Reeb, vice president of Global News, made a statement saying that “the ability to operate independently is fundamental to the practice of journalism, and Global News will continue to vigorously defend this principle in the future. It is important for both the safety of our journalists, and the integrity of their investigative work, that they not be seen as gathering evidence for police.”
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About the author

Kim Rupnarain was the Senior Online Editor of the Summer 2012 issue of the Ryerson Review of Journalism.

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