May 5, 2022

Shannon Sampert, BA, MA, PhD

Shannon Sampert, BA, MA, PhD

Shannon Sampert is a political analyst and media specialist who serves as a bridge between th academy and the community. As a former journalist, she explores the intersections of media, politics, and gender. Sampert is a sought-after media commentator during Canadian elections and for her expertise in areas such as political communications and sexism. She cut her teeth in media at the tender age of 15 while working for a radio station in Wetaskiwin, Alberta. From there she got into producing documentaries and found herself as the only female on the Editorial Board of the daily Winnipeg Free Press. Always energetic, Sampert shares her hopes and concerns as we talk about World Press Freedom Day and the role the media have in raising public awareness for the right of free expression.

See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at

Shannon Sampert is a political analyst and media specialist who serves as a bridge between th academy and the community. As a former journalist, she explores the intersections of media, politics, and gender. Sampert is a sought-after media commentator during Canadian elections and for her expertise in areas such as political communications and sexism. She cut her teeth in media at the tender age of 15 while working for a radio station in Wetaskiwin, Alberta. From there she got into producing documentaries and found herself as the only female on the Editorial Board of the daily Winnipeg Free Press. Always energetic, Sampert shares her hopes and concerns as we talk about World Press Freedom Day and the role the media have in raising public awareness for the right of free expression.

See Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at


This podcast was recorded on the ancestral lands on Treaty One territory, the traditional territory of the Anishnawbe, Cree, Oji Cree, Dakota, and the Dene peoples, and on the homeland of the Métis nation.

This is Humans, On Rights. A podcast advocating for the education of human rights.

Here's your host Stuart Murray, UNESCO has determined that May three is World Press Freedom Day.

We're going to talk about that and I'm delighted to have somebody who is very capable of talking about that.

My guest today is Shannon Sanford.

She's a political analyst and media specialist who serves as as a bridge between the academy and the community.

As a former journalist, she explores the intersections of media, politics and gender.

Shannon is a sought after media commentator during Canadian elections for her expertise in areas such as political, communications and sexism in politics.

Shannon left the University of Winnipeg to serve as the first and only female op editor at the Daily Winnipeg Free Press and she continues to write a bi monthly article in the Winnipeg free press, Shannon SAm Pert is, in every sense, a true public intellectual and it's proven by the fact that the University of Winnipeg presented her with the Marcia Hannah Award for excellence in creating community awareness on as we celebrate or talk about world Press Freedom Day, Shannon Sanford welcome to humans on rights.

Okay, thank you so much.

Thanks for having me here.

So Shannon, let's just get right at it.

A 15 year old Shannon Sanford decided that she was going to get involved in media and worked as a volunteer as a radio reporter in Itasca in Alberta cars cost less.

Yeah, no kidding, no provincial sales tax, even as we speak.

That's right.

So Shannon, what was your first assignment?

I was covering high school sports in high school events at my LaDuke Senior high school in LaDuke.

So that's basically what I did as I called in the information and it was a lark, I didn't know what I wanted to be when I grow up.

You know, I wanted to be an actress actually.

And one of my friends from high school, I was, I was having coffee and as a waitress, having coffee with a bunch of other friends and she came and sat down and said to me, I'm going to go to television, stage and radio arts and Calgary when we graduate and I said, oh, that's great, that sounds like fun.

And she said, you should come with me, it would be a really fun program.

And I think, I think you'd be really talented, I think should come.

And I thought I didn't know what I wanted to be when I grew up.

So I thought, well that beats being a waitress.


So I went and told my mom that mom and dad, I think I'm going to go to California and do this television stage and radio arts thing.

And my mom went, well, who's going to pay for it?

I said, oh, I don't know, we'll figure it out.

So I went, I got in, I don't know how, but I got in and the rest was history.

I mean I just sort of went and I've always sort of bungled my way through and you know, in 1978 there weren't any women in newsrooms, there weren't very many women in newsrooms.

And so every time I go into the newsroom they go, I was always the one woman in the newsroom.

I was always the woman that was working in the late night shift or the weekend shift cause no one ever wanted those ships.

That was always the, you know, poor sucker who had to do that was the bottom of the totem pole and everyone always said to me, but women, women will never be anything because women don't have authoritative news voices.

You know, we never put women on the air in the morning or on the important shifts.

And then, you know, I went into television and I got told, well, you're too ugly to be on tv and all that kind of stuff.

And I just sort of persevered.

It was like, I sort of flopped around doing well, whatever you have to do.

I'll just do it right.

And eventually I produced documentaries and you know, I went to british Columbia and Alberta and Saskatchewan and just sort of, I did what I wanted to do.

And one day I woke up and said, well I don't want to do this anymore, maybe I should go back to high school and I get a real, real high school diploma and tried to get into university and I did, I got into university, had to go to a college first because my high school marks were horrible and I got into a college and and then transferred over to the University of Alberta and surprisingly enough my marks were really good, I always thought it was a really stupid person, not very bright, I'm all over the place, well I'm so a d d right, like big big red ball, let's go follow the big red ball.

So I got into university and suddenly I discovered that I really liked studying and I like politics and but the reason why I like politics is we're studying and I already lived through constitution.

Oh well I was kind of there when that was being formulated, so let me tell you how that actually worked, so that was kind of fun.

So how did you find your way to Manitoba Shannon?

So in 2005 the job was up for a Canadian politics job and so I applied for it and I wasn't finished my degree and I hadn't didn't have my PhD and so I applied for it and I got, it I got the job, so I ended up here teaching at the University of Winnipeg and that was a teaching job in politics, teaching political science, yeah, Canadian politics and media.

And so because I have an expertise that that's what my PhD is all about is I mixed my old job with my new job and I studied how the media articulate sexual assault crimes in six newspapers across the country.

So I looked at the year 2002 and I studied every single newspaper story in 2002 across the country on sexual assault.

And then after doing all that, I decided, you know, there's more to this story than how the media talk about it.

So, I went to every single one of the cities that I studied and I I interviewed the police and I interviewed the journalists, which no one has ever done before.

And I determined that it wasn't the media, it was actually the police that was actually setting up these sexual assault myths about it because the media is just reflecting what the police are saying.

So that's the, that was the big kind of tell that I came away with in my overall PhD thesis.

So, Shannon, let me just stop you for one second when you say that was the police setting up just your words, the myths.

Can you just explain that a little bit?

So, the police would send up news release saying women shouldn't be walking at night, women should be careful, women should watch their drinks, Women should do X.

Pliancy and then the media would be, you know, very politely just reenacting those news releases now.

They should have asked questions when they did that.

But basically they were just reframing what the police were saying and then when they covered court stories of course the defense would say, well you know, what were you wearing or you were going to a party, you were drugged, blah blah blah.

And they were just restating What was being said.

So it wasn't really the media that we're making these myths up.

They were just repeating what was being told to them.

So that was the big moment that I had actually found in my piece.

And so that was my thesis and I finished my thesis in 2006 about my PhD.

But I had already started working at the University of Winnipeg.

So my area of focus has always been media and law.

And then I started to do media and women politicians and so that there I am my mixture of two jobs.

So Shannon, if somebody said to you, okay, so are you a journalist, what do you what are you as a professional?

What did you say?

I can't find myself, I have never been able to define myself and so Jared Wesley at the University of Alberta calls the kind of people that we are paca de mix where both academics but we've also worked in the practical world.

And I think that's a really good way of describing the type of work that we do.

It's kind of one ft in the real world and one ft in the ivory tower, you know, I think it's a nice mixture.

But so I can talk about, you know, I teach at the right now, I'm teaching, I just finished teaching at McGill University, but I also work at policy options, doing journalism work.

I'm a copy editor of policy options right now.

And I also work, unless I say I write for the Winnipeg Free Press.

So when I teach public affairs at McGill, I can talk very easily about what's going on in journalism because I just came into the world of journalism, I'm still in the world of journalism, it's pretty easy to say what's going on.

I still hang with a lot of people who are in journalism.

So, Shannon when we talk about May 3rd being World Press Freedom Day, what does that mean to you in terms of your background, your experience, what you've seen?

Well, it's a frightening day.

It's a frightening world right now for journalists and and to be really kind of somber about the whole thing.

There's been a recent report that just came out of europe, the european association on on press freedom.

You look at the number of journalists and this is a A big year for journalists being killed, obviously because of the war in Ukraine.

But 15 journalists so far have lost their lives in the world, just doing their job.

And the majority of those lives have been lost in Ukraine, but there's also been lives lost in places like Chad and Mexico Kazakhstan and these are journalists who are just doing their job.

And the important thing to recognize is that, you know, journalists are the canary in the mines when it comes to underst democracy and so when this type of thing goes on, when they lose their lives, when they're being intimidated, when being harassed, when they're being threatened or manipulated or prevented from doing their jobs, it is indicative of the state of democracy around the world.

And I was living in Ottawa for a number of months while I was working at McGill, teaching this this fall or this with me and I watched what was going on with the convoy and the freedom convoy and when I watched the harassment that was going on by people who were just doing their job as journalists, the way that they were being treated by the protesters, that's not how we treat our journalists there in Canada.

And so you really have to watch ourselves in Canada when we treat our own journalists in a way that prevents them from doing their job.

So a couple of things that I want to pick up on Shannon, thank you for that.

I want to just, you know, ask you this question because I too watched what happened as this convoy went across Canada and ended up in Ottawa and you used the term freedom convoy.

And I guess the question I would ask is a lot of people looked at that and again, one of the great things about democracy is everybody has an opinion, but a lot of people looked at that and felt that maybe it had not as much to do about freedom and maybe something else.

And Shannon, I just wondered what your thoughts were about the notion that the public, that was feeling that they were being again, these are my words, So I just would sort of say victimized by this closure, that the media, not all, but some media would still refer to it as a freedom convoy and I just wondered a lot of people said, why would they call somebody who or an organization that has weaponized something that is really terrorizing certain members of the public and to your point, some of the media, why would they continually call that a freedom convoy and not say from their perspective, what they really talked about, what it might have been.

So, I think it is a question of semantics and I think the whole idea of freedom and freedom being weaponized, but part of that was also the Canadian flag being weaponized.

You know, there were so many layers to that proto Stewart and I think that we all kind of got emotional about it, like I got very angry about it too.

I looked at some of the stuff that was going on and I was very concerned about the impact of the alt right and their impact on that protest, but at the same time, I also started to realize that the very underlying layer of that were some very scared people that do not read the newspaper do not rely on journalism.

And that's probably the the most frightening thing.

They don't believe journalists.

They think the journalists are liars and instead rely on Reddit and what they read on the internet and there's something fundamentally wrong with the job that's being done by journalism somehow or another.

They we've missed the boat when people like those people aren't listening anymore and I don't know how to get them plugged back in.

They don't believe whatever it is that we're telling, they think we're lying and I don't know why they're so turned off.

I think I can I can tell you why they're so turned off because they've been fed a steady diet of propaganda online about mainstream media being liars etcetera.

But I think we also need to do a lot of work in terms of educating people in civics and making them aware of how civics actually work and how to disagree in a way that you can be respectful and the roles that various organizations you can play.

But yeah, that became very, very weaponized and scary.

Yeah, so, again, this is a big question I know it, but I'd love to get your thoughts on it.

And that is, you know, we talk about this divide when it comes to analyzing trust and mass media, particularly by political parties.

How do you think that came about?

I mean, it's not to sort of kind of put a pin in and say it was on this date that something happened.

I mean, this is something that's happened over time, clearly.

But what's your perspective on that?

Some of the research that's been done indicates that it's become down to an issue of we're no longer trying to encapsulate voters in the big tent, but instead we're looking for voters in tiny little margins now.

So when media, pardon me, when political strategists used to go and get as many voters as possible under the big ideas now, they're going under the very, very small percentages.

And so it's all about very, very tiny demographics and it becomes issues, it becomes issues.

And if you can inflame the issues issues like abortion issues like gun control issues like free trade issues like climate change, then you can shift them and mobilize them and get them to vote for you, and then you're happy.


And so that's why, you know, the conservatives have been the voice for things like freedom and gun control, freedom on climate change, freedom on trade, you know, and cut down on immigration.

These are the got things and got things that apply to people who are living in conditions where they rely on gas and oil and don't want to change their jobs.

And so it speaks to them, right?

People who do not necessarily want to change the conditions in which they're in.

So, so Shannon, you serve and you still do serve on the editorial board of the Winnipeg Free Press.

No, actually, I don't know, I'm not on the editorial board any longer.

I was, but I'm no longer.

Um, okay, thanks for the clarifications.

But when you did Shannon, I mean, one of the challenges, I think is I think this comes down to some of the frustration that people have with the way that the media report, you know, my always understanding is is that if you're if you're a columnist, you're basically saying, hey, you know, this is my masthead, here's who I am.

Here's my belief.

You can like it or not.

But if you are just reporting on a story, how do you make sure if you can, we're all human beings that there's no bias in how you you bring out the story so that the public who were reading and saying, I feel informed because, you know, is that he said, she said, and then there was a summation.

Well, it's really hard and one of the reasons why it's really hard is how do you do the two sides of a balance when someone is clearly lying?

I mean, how do you go into a news conference when trump is lying through his teeth as a reporter and not have to go wait a second.

You're lying through your teeth, right?

Like how do you cover that?

I don't want to say you're a liar and this is wrong.

I mean at some point you do have to sort of put on the critical voice and say that's crap.

And we're going to say why this is crap, right?

I mean, a journalist should be able to go to a news conference from somebody like Trudeau and say mr Trudeau said today, and that's that right?

Without having to say there's no problem with that.

I'm just reporting it straight up.

But instead we are we've gotten to the point now where we have to say so and so I was saying this, but the reason why we have a problem with that is because we know that this information is wrong and trump was the worst of it because it was out and out bald faced lies.

I mean, he was saying information that you just turn around and go this guy is purple today and you go that's not even close to the truth for sure.

So, so Shannon, when you talk to your students and you know, one of the things that I've always made sort of interesting reference to was when teddy or thea Roosevelt delivered that speech in 1910 at the Sorbonne in Paris and it was all about being a citizen in a republic.

And what he was trying to say to citizens was you have to take a leadership role, you have to read, you have to educate yourself, you have to take part in like how you can make a contribution to society.

Don't just sit back and wait for somebody, whether it's an oligarch or somebody comes in and says, here's how you should live your life.

It's like, no, that's not how this should be.

So that was in 1910, here we are in 2022, how do you talk to your students or have a conversation with them so that they do become engaged and that they don't sort of say, well, you know, Shannon thanks very much.

But as you were talking, I was just on reddit and read it said something completely different which you know is not accurate and his faults.

Well, one of the things I do is I first of all, I make sure that they become really aware of evidence and evidence based information.

So if you see something on Reddit and you want to see if it's true, then figure out how to research whether that information is true and it's very simple.

Look for peer reviewed information, go to peer reviewed research, there's tons and tons of academic journals that are now open source and available online that you don't have to go to a library, it's all available online.

So look for evidence based research from peer reviewed good journals and good academic articles, if you don't believe the media look for peer reviewed, evidence based academic journals and just educate yourself and ask questions, see if it comes from a reliable source.

You know, if one organization says something's happening, don't jump on it.

Wait to see if another organization supports that.

Abc news says that Stuart Murray has died in a gigantic, fiery accident.

Wait until NBC News also says that before you tweeted out.

That's the thing is you don't have to be so quick to jump on bandwagons, just make sure all the information that you're actually broadcasting is true.

You know, you don't have to jump on the bandwagon that quick sit back and wait and evaluate on your own.

And you know, that's so well said Shannon, but so difficult.

I know that, you know, we live in a world of instantaneous reaction.

We need something right now and we totally, and I mean to the point where, you know, even some news organizations, they want to be the first, you know, they wanted the first to announce who the winner of this election is.

They want to be the first to do that.

And so that rush to sort of judgment it allows people and I think it creates in a lot of the public's mind, is this accurate?

I mean, or should we trust it or where does this go?

And I think the notion that people become when they look at institutions and they're not sure should they believe the institutions, I think on the media side there is a great opportunity to not look at journalists as a whole, but there are some reporters, journalists, some of people in the media who you know, and I know who are legitimate and they work hard and they are professional about their craft and I think that you can still have a relationship with a journalist as opposed to the holistic and the media if you will, because I mean, I always loved it when Fox came out and their banner was fair and balanced.

I mean, you know, that's the that's the masthead behind them now, I'm not here to say it's right or wrong.

I'm simply saying that that's their approach, But they have 11 reporter that was fair.

Yeah, I mean it is a fascinating thing and I, you know, for example, you know, I just went back and did a little bit of research on some of the things that you wrote and you wrote an article in the Winnipeg free Press, it went to broader than that, but the headline was journalists under siege and you talked about journalism and the notion that this undercurrent being under siege.

And I wondered if you could just talk a little bit about that in the context of how Canada you know, ranks in terms of pure freedom to how we stand in the world globally.

We are sort of more or less in the middle, if I understand correctly, I haven't looked at where we are in press freedom day lately but I think we're sort of more or less in the middle.

One of the biggest problems we have Stuart internally in Canada is something that has been defined as a read and delete culture and it was particularly bad on joe harper.

It became more transparent with Trudeau because Trudeau wanted to become more transparent and more jovial, more open with reporters.

I think he's probably learnt a lesson since then and stop being as open as he originally wanted to be.

But one of the problems in Canada at both the federal and the municipal and the provincial levels is how governments can manipulate and utilize our freedom to Information privacy protection Act.

And however, that is defined provincially and federally.

And that is probably for a lot of journalists the most aggravating part of their the day and the way that those freedom of information privacy acts can be used to prevent us from getting the information that is actually our right to have.

And so you ask or you will file a freedom of information form in order to get something like who flew on a government airplane and the information will come back, you have to file, it costs sometimes a lot of money and it'll come back to you and it will be redacted full of black ink because the way that the legislation has been read by some government bureaucrat is so to the dime that we can't release the names, we can't release this camera.

Is that well, you know, who cares, who's playing on a government jet?

Well, I care if I find out that the developer is flying on a government jets, like in order to be able to curry favor from a provincial official or I care if a government jet has an individual who's involved in, I don't know, Saudi Oil or if he's involved in Russian trade.

I mean, that kind of information as a journalist is my right to no, and that's one of the things that that's been done and researched a great deal by people who look at freedom to information and access to freedom of information in Canada as a real issue.

And in front of democracy for journalists over and over and over again.

And the other affronted democracy for journalists is the lack of actual days left in parliament in the house of commons and in the legislature, increasingly, we are seeing mega bills going through lack of of of actual debate and lack of access to parliamentarians after debate in order to actually have a conversation with them about it.

So when parliamentarians not make themselves accessible to the journalists to actually answer the questions that's not democracy, you have to make yourself available heather.

Stephenson is getting a lot of flak these days, because she has not been available in the legislature and good for the reporters for doing that, she should be making yourself available.

If she's not available because of health, then she has to that be known.

But that is your job as a premier and that is your job as ministers.

You should be making yourself available for answering questions to the journalists.

Okay, So, just on that one, of course, they're not answering questions to the journalists are answering questions across the floor to the other parties.

Right, When you're in the legislature, I've I've had a little experience Shannon and that you have that for sure.

But so just on that Shannon, it is one of those elements that I find a little bit frustrating and I'll just say, as a c citizen of Canada, that when you talk about and rightly so they get these omnibus bills that come into the legislature.

But to me, when we elect our political leaders and ultimately our Prime Minister of the day, whichever party it is, and we've had both Conservative and progressive conservatives and liberals over the course of time, the lack of ability to understand policies and what you stand for.

I mean, I can go on Tiktok and I can see some kind of a thing that, you know, has music put to it and some leaders there, I get it.

But in terms of talking about what is your policy to try to either deal with the environment or what's your policy to actually deal with healthcare.

You know, I remember when stockwell day held up that no two tier health and it was like instead of explaining what is, is two tier health.

Is that just meaning that there's like literally two tiers one good and one bad or is that just a bad name for a policy that might actually say, you know, if you listen to this conversation, this might improve health care for everybody.

But it's that notion to rush again to judgment where somebody doesn't believe something.

I mean even in this thing, you know, you might have said something and I could just blurt out to you fake news Shannon fake news and everybody would say, yeah, I guess so.

Well really, you know what I Mean?

So what you're talking about and this is a huge, huge issue when I started in news back in when the dinosaurs real Dearer Stewart, I was a size 10.

Life was good.

She was good.

There was no such thing as the internet and we actually used to have, believe it or not on every radio station during the six o'clock to nine o'clock slot in the morning and from four o'clock to six o'clock in the evenings on radio.

We used to have the top of the hour, 10 minute newscast at the bottom of the hour, five minute newscast, the average news story, if it was given by a reporter would be packaged up in a 42nd sound package.

So the reporter would talk then would have a news bike from the interviewer and then it would be wrapped up at the reporter.


That would be 40 seconds now on news, on news stations.

If you are lucky person and actually have a radio news report, it is probably a 92nd news update on cbc, it might be five minutes at the top of the hour and then they have the longer newscast, The average sound bite now is eight seconds.

So how do you explain public health policy in eight seconds.

I wrote about this in my piece called jumping the shark.

Part of it is the impact of the internet.

Part of it is about how things have changed.

Newspapers have also changed as a result because they changed to reflect what's happened in radio and television.

And so what this means is the politicians have figured out that no one's listening after 20 seconds at most.

So they've had to dummy it down as well.

And so now because we use the stupid on iphones and Tiktok, we had to dumb it down even further.

So the, I have a dream speech would now just be, I have a dream and that would be it.

That would be the Tiktok.


So how do I explain important and necessary information about changes to tax reform.

Well, no new taxes and that'd be it.

No public health care cuts, all that kind of information.

And then the guy on reddit, so he said that there was going to be no health care cuts.

Well, he didn't really say that.

And so then read it debates it, it becomes this kind of this flag.

But in reality what they were talking about was this 90 minute debate about what they actually really meant.

But we're not ready to process that.

And the good reporters are the reporters like Rosie Barton on cbc power politics, people in newspapers who do columns after columns after columns and pages after pages after pages that actually provide the long form information, nobody reads that or the ones that should be reading it.



So, you know, it's more than no two tiered health care, you know what that is all about, it means there's nuances.

But how do we get Shannon?

And I mean, this is again, I I appreciate it's a very difficult question.

But, you know, I struggle with it myself in conversations with friends.

When you start to look at an election coming, whether it's civic provincial, Federal, it doesn't matter.

You know, when you start to say, what are we voting for?

I mean, personality is a big part of it.

I get that.

But, you know, when you sort of look at, I mean, at one point, frankly, the Green party, actually, we're talking about issues now, you know, I think they couldn't sort of pivot off of the environment, which is still a big issue everywhere in the world.

But you know this notion of how do you engage people in a conversation?

You look at every debate that happens, whether it's the presidential debates, the Canadian prime ministerial debates, whatever it is, there's no opportunity.

I mean, people tune in and sort of say, okay, this is all I'm gonna do.

I'm not reading any of the pamphlets, I'm not doing that, I'm gonna listen to this and try to figure out who it is or what party I'm gonna vote for.

And at best it's a gong show and no wonder more people watch american idol than listen to presidential elections.

It is because because the coverage that comes out of the debates is who got the knockout punch, Who got the big whammy because policy is too hard to report on because nobody's interested.

And you know how we change that Stewart.

We start treating politics the same way that we started treating sex in the 1980s and 1990s, we start talking to our kids about politics, we start to normalize politics like we normalize sex, we start talking politics over the dinner table, we start talking to our kids about politics in the car, like we talk about sex in the car with our kids, we take kids to the ballot box, we talk about it over the supper table at the breakfast table and we ourselves get involved.

And I know that people go, I don't like talking about it cause it makes me so angry.

Well, I don't like talking about sex because it makes me so angry.

It is still our obligation.

It is our right and our obligation as an adult and as a citizen and we need to get excited about it both sex and politics because it's important.

It's an integral part of our citizen rate.

And I mean I was raised by my father, we had a political conversation at every single supper to the point where my mother made us sign a contract at thanksgiving saying I will not have you ruin yet another thanksgiving supper because my father and I and it was the best part of my day.


I mean those conversations are fantastic because you know, that's where you learn and you get into this notion about it's not necessarily who's right or who's wrong, it's what is your point of view?

I'd love to hear it and I'd love to hear why you feel that way.

Yeah, absolutely.

And you know what, I walk away at the end of it all going on, you know, whatever, but you know, whatever.


It's unfortunate because I think that as people become less and less informed, they are so much easier to manipulate in a certain direction and you know, now we find ourselves in an environment where it's not about ideas that bring people forward, it's anger.


We're all emotional now.

And I think that we also have this anger about this injustice, right?

We're angry about injustices, these perceived injustices.

If we actually understood what was going on, I think we would be a little bit less reactive.

I understand the anger, I understand this kind of perceived injustice, but we just need to understand the actual full story behind it.

I just think we need to do more civics education at grade 56789, 10 11, 12.

I'm stunned that most, you know, high school students really, they don't have a strong civics education.

They say they do, but they don't, they really don't.


So Shannon, one of the things we started talking about, and I love this conversation, by the way, thank you so much was World Press Freedom Day and talking about some of the challenges that the media face, some of the reporters face.

And you know, one of the elements when you look at sort of the arab spring, you know, that was I think an area where people looked at social media reporting as a way to take a message over authority into the world to say, look, this is what's happening.

We're not going to be shut down here, We're going to make this work.

So you look at that and think about how positive that is.

And then you look at the other side of how we talked about this, the fake news, the red, it's and how that all works what I wanted to get from you when you think about world Press freedom day, how would you say that world press freedom day relates to human rights?

It goes hand in hand, we don't have democracy, we don't have human rights.

And so free press is a fundamental aspect of democracy.

If you cannot have a free press you cannot have democracy and you do not have free rights goes hand in hand.

The last thing just before we sign off here was as Elon musk is now I think officially has bought twitter I don't if you have a thought on that this is one of those things where the market will make the decision for him and we've seen what happened with facebook, we will see what happens with twitter, eventually the market will make the decision and there will be pressures that will come back to bear on him as well.

There's only so much that people will take and there will be other outlets, You know, I thought the best line I heard Shannon was because I gather he paid 44 billion at least that's what's being reported in the media.

But what he paid for it and his stock has fallen so that Yeah, well I mean somebody, somebody just made the comment saying Elon must just paid $44 billion for twitter dot dot dot I use it for free.

Yeah, exactly.

So there you go.

Anyway, Shannon, I can't tell you how much I've enjoyed this conversation.

I adore the opportunity to learn from you and listen to you and thank you for what you do.

And thank you for appearing on this episode of humans.

Own rights.

Thank you so much.

Thanks to where it was just my pleasure.

Thank you so much.

Humans on Rights is recorded and hosted by Stuart Murray social media marketing by the creative team at full current in Winnipeg.

Thanks also to trick seem a bit you in music by Doug Edmund for more, go to human rights hub dot C A.

Produced and distributed by the sound off media company.

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