The Star's Alex Boutilier reports:
The RCMP is demanding VICE Canada turn over “all notes and communications” between the journalism outlet and a suspected Islamic State fighter, the outlet reported Friday.
The RCMP served VICE with a production order in February to turn over reporter Ben Makuch’s notes and instant message chats with Farah Mohamed Shirdon, a Calgary-born man turned Islamic State militant.
VICE Canada’s head of content, Patrick McGuire, said they intend to fight the Mounties’ demands in court.
“Complying with this production order would set a precedent that could deeply rupture the independence of the Canadian media,” McGuire said in an email Friday morning.
“Sources should be able to speak to journalists without fearing that the cops will turn around and try and request the records of those conversations. We are not here to assist the RCMP with their work.”
VICE began in Montreal in the early 1990s as magazine startup but, according to the Ryerson Review of Journalism, has quickly grown into a $2.5 billion international media enterprise.
The emphasis in VICE is on mostly youth-oriented content, ranging from a video series that interviews people who have just had sex to edgy investigative journalism.
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