jack webster foundation

Law and the Media Workshop

for BC journalists only

Information about the 2018 Law and the Media Workshop will be announced soon

2017 Workshop Recap

November 1, 2017
Moving Targets and Lost Control: Legal Implications of Social Media
45 journalists attended the 2017 Law and the Media Seminar entitled Moving Targets and Lost Control: Legal Implications of Social Media. The workshop dealt with challenges faced by journalists as they navigate issues of reliability, copyright and control when researching and publishing in a social media environment.

Dan Burnett, QC, Jack Webster Foundation trustee and media lawyer, created a scenario from which a lively discussion ensured about how do you assess the reliability of online information; when the story is a sensation, how do you manage runaway comments, re-posting, photo-grabbing and an onslaught of unknown tipsters. How can you fix an error that has gone viral?

Dan Burnett, media lawyer, Owen Bird Law Corporation
Wendy Cox, BC and Alberta editor, The Globe and Mail
Ludmila Herbst, QC, media lawyer, Farris, Vaughn, Wills & Murphy LLP
Kirk LaPointe, Editor-in-Chief, Business in Vancouver Media Group

2016 Workshop Recap

Judging the Journalist
Sixty journalists attended the 2016 Law and the Media Seminar entitled Could your journalism survive scrutiny by a judge?

An excellent panel lead the discussion about the Responsible Communication defence which protects journalists who do it right even if they get some of it wrong, provided they are willing to put their work under the microscope. An investigative story unfolded with bumps and legal twists, illustrating the topic.

David Beers, founding editor, The Tyee
Dan Burnett, media lawyer, Owen Bird Law Corporation
Kathy Tomlinson, investigative reporter, The Globe and Mail
David Sutherland, media lawyer, David F. Sutherland Law Corporation


Unfolding News Story
An Unfolding News Story will examine a fictional scenario involving an offer of a drone video and the subsequent navigation of the story through the legal pitfalls it presents. The seminar will explore a wide range of issues from drone rules, leaked government documents, libel, privacy, bans, production orders or warrants through to unscheduled interviews, FOI Demand-to-Return and social media and copyright rules.


The 2013 workshop, Major Crimes and Mega Trials, took place on May 29, 2012 in Vancouver.

workshop photo
2013 Law and the Media Workshop - "Major Crimes and Mega Trials"

Presenters, left to right: Ben Hadaway, moderator, Law Society of BC, Dan Burnett, media lawyer, Owen Bird LLP, Doriano Temolo, news director, Global National, Michael Skene, media lawyer, Borden Ladner Gervais LLP and Ros Guggi, deputy editor, The Province

About the workshop
My thanks to the staff and organizers of the very informative and interesting evening held last night. I thought the format was good - kind of a case example and mentor situation. It added a different perspective to the way that material has been presented in the past where case precedents and rulings were the main discussion points in the past. The session, full of practical information regarding real life situations, was over all too quickly. I would like to thank the panel participants for sharing their views and taking the time from their busy schedules to participate. We were all enriched by their comments and their knowledge.
Jean Sorensen, Canadian Lawyer.


workshop photo
L to R: Scott Macrae, co-chair Jack Webster Foundation with 2012 law seminar panel members: Sandy Heimlich-Hall, CFJC TV; media lawyer David Sutherland, Dana Bales, Law Society of BC and media lawyer and Webster Foundation trustee Dan Burnett.

The 2012 workshop, Get the story, avoid the legal traps: 2012 Law and the Media Workshop, took place on May 16, 2012 in Kamloops.

What They Learned
Over 30 journalists attended the seminar where they were led by media lawyers David Sutherland and Dan Burnett through legally tricky questions in managing a great story. Sandy Heimlich-Hall, assistant news director of CFJC TV in Kamloops presented the perspective of the media in the discussions. Dana Bales of the Law Society of BC moderated the event.

Panellists include:
Dan Burnett, media lawyer
Sandy Heimlich-Hall, Assistant News Director, CFJC TV7
David Sutherland, media lawyer

Presented by
jack webster foundation law society of bc

Photos from the 2011 Law and the Media Workshop

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