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CanWest Global Strengthens its Grip
The editorial integrity of newspapers owned by a Liberal-friendly media conglomerate continued to attract protest Tuesday at home and abroad.

CanWest Global Communications said it has received "scores" of complaints since the weekend firing of Ottawa Citizen publisher Russell Mills in an apparent tussle over editorial independence. "Generally it's people expressing concern or disagreement or unhappiness about Russell Mills' departure from the Citizen, yes," Geoffrey Elliot, vice-president of corporate affairs for CanWest, said in interview from the company's Winnipeg headquarters. Elliot said many of the e-mails and phone calls appear to have been generated by organized calling campaigns.

Organized or not, the criticism was widespread and uniform.

The Vienna-based International Press Institute issued a release Tuesday saying Canada's "outstanding reputation for freedom of the press has been badly damaged."

"The Mills affair will have a chilling effect on critical reporting in Canada and will bring an increase in self-censorship," said Johann Fritz, director of the institute. Source.

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Wednesday June 19, 2002