Banging the gavel in the court of public opinion

In ‘Free Speech Wins! But What about Ethics?’ Stephen Ward takes a measured look at the BC tribunal ruling. It’s a tone appropriate to the situation: in true Canadian style, when some Muslim citizens took issue with Maclean’s reportage, first they wrote a research report, and then they launched a human rights complaint. Not exactly wild-eyed extremism, although the wider implications for a free press were clear to many journalists. Now a new phrase has entered the lexicon: The right to offend. What is offensive journalism, and should we defend it? The argument can only be settled in the court of public opinion, Catherine Rolfsen writes in International Perspectives on Offensive Journalism. And it’s a lively court indeed: check out Offensive Journalism Fuels Facebook Advocacy for a glimpse at the docket.