Alan Forsythe was fired from The Hope Standard just 7 days after he started his new job due to “concerns about your ability to perform the duties of a journalist in Hope” according to an October 17th letter of termination made public by True North Centre.
Then came the outrage on social media.
“Canada does not have Freedom Of The Press!!!” wrote @DeniseInCanada in a tweet tagging People’s Party of Canada leader Maxime Bernier.
Freedom of the press is about government intervention – specifically the right of the press to be free from government intervention. Freedom of the press has nothing to do with the right of a business to hire or fire employees.
The government did not fire Mr. Forsythe, nor did it demand his employers terminate him, either. He lost his job for one simple reason. He failed to live up to journalistic standards of his chosen profession his employer.
This case raises some serious concerns, to be sure – not with the actions of The Hope Standard or its parent company Black Press however, but with the spurious belief when something upsets us, the issue causing the upset is automatically a rights violation.
“Freedom of the press—the right to report news or circulate opinion without censorship from the government—was considered ‘one of the great bulwarks of liberty’ by the Founding Fathers of the United States,” writes History.com. It’s a great article. I encourage you to read it if you’re confused about what “Freedom of the Press” actually means.