UK, Canada launch push to protect media freedom

LONDON (AP) — Britain and Canada are leading a push to secure more protections for journalists, saying a free press “protects society from the abuse of power.”

U.K. Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt and Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland are hosting a two-day conference starting Wednesday in London with politicians, officials, activists and journalists from more than 100 countries — though two Russian news outlets have been banned.

The British government says Sputnik and RT are barred because of “their active role in spreading disinformation.”

Human rights lawyer Amal Clooney, the British government’s special envoy on media freedom, is attending and plans to set up a panel of experts to advise governments on strengthening legal protection for journalists.

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According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, 54 media workers were killed worldwide in 2018.

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