Broadcaster

Ottawa Citizen publisher may sue CanWest for firing

6/18/2002

Ottawa, - Long-time Ottawa Citizen publisher Russell Mills says he's considering legal action after being fired for running afoul of
CanWest Global's editorial policies.

Speaking on various media outlets this morning, Mills said he has spoken to a lawyer.

He suggests he was just doing his job as a journalist when the Citizen ran a front-page editorial calling on the prime minister to
step down over the ``Shawinigate'' affair.

In a speech to graduating students at Carleton University, Mills tackled the CanWest editorial policy, which obliges member newspapers to run an editorial from head office twice a week.

Papers owned by the Asper family must also seek pre-clearance from CanWest's head office before running editorials criticizing Chretien or the Liberal party.

Mills was fired by CanWest's David Asper, a long-time Chretien supporter.

Mills says today he did not feel he was going out on a limb by criticizing Chretien, because other papers had taken similar positions that he should resign.

He says even though the Aspers would deny it, they do not allow editorial independence at their newspapers.

According to Mills, his firing sent a chill through all people who write about and cover politics for papers owned by CanWest Global.

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