The challenges of the free press in a free market


Media@McGill and CRÉUM present two-day colloquium on ethics and the media

"If it bleeds, it leads."

Yes, it’s a cliché. But it can often be an apt description of the way some media focus on the sensational. Intense coverage of celebrity adoptions or relationships, tawdry political scandals and graphic tragedy "sells," and it sometimes overshadows the reporting of more pressing issues and events. While media institutions remain an essential instrument of democracy, they are also companies that sell content for profit. Are these two responsibilities contradictory?

On April 17 and 18, Media@McGill and le Centre de recherche en éthique de l'Université de Montréal (CRÉUM) will gather leading academics, journalists and communications specialists for a free public colloquium that aims to explore the tensions of a free press in a free market and the ethical dilemmas and responsibilities that arise as a consequence.

This is a timely collaboration between Media@McGill and the CRÉUM,” says Prof. Marc Raboy, Beaverbrook Chair in Ethics, Media and Communications and Chair of Media@McGill. "With all the upheaval we are witnessing in the media environment, it is the right moment to be looking at how media practices are affected by the economics of the media industries and the impact that this has on our democracy."

Panel discussions will tackle topics ranging from media policy and regulation, to new media and its challenges, to editorial independence, and media as big business. Panelists include Julie Miville-Dechêne, Ombudsman of Radio-Canada; Lisa-Marie Gervais, journalist at Le Devoir; Andrew Potter, political columnist at Maclean’s magazine; Marc Raboy, Beaverbrook Chair in Ethics, Media and Communications and Chair of Media@McGIll; Arthur Isak Applbaum, Acting Director at the Edmond J. Safra Foundation Center for Ethics at Harvard University; Darin Barney, Canada Research Chair in Technology and Citizenship and professor at McGill; Daniel Weinstock, Canada Research Chair in Ethics and Political Philosophy and Prof. of Philosophy at the University of Montreal; Ian Richards, former newspaper journalist and current Professor of Journalism at the University of South Australia in Adelaide, Australia; and  Mary Agnes Welch, President of the Canadian Association of Journalists.   
The event will take place at l’Université de Montréal, Pavillion J-Armand Bombardier, Room 1035, 5155 Decelles Ave. It is free and open to the public.

For more information and the full event times and program, please visit:

Contact Information

Allison Flynn
Media Relations Office
allison.j.flynn [at]
Office Phone: 
(514) 398-7698