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The Code of Silence award: Call for nominations!

As #CAJ17 approaches, it's time to revive our annual tongue-in-cheek tradition, an idea with serious overtones: the Canadian Association of Journalists' Code of Silence award. 

Nursed to life by past-president Rob Cribb, the idea was to "celebrate" Canada's most-secretive government, department, agency or publicly funded body. Who was putting that extra bit of elbow grease into keeping any sunlight from reaching the public's business?

The "winner" that first year? The Ontario Ministry of the Environment. 

The CAJ is now accepting nominations from journalists working in Canada who've been fighting the good fight to pry public information out of the hands of bureaucrats and politicians from sea, to sea, to sea.

Nominators are asked to think big and small. Previous winners include the entire federal government, omnibus government legislation, a former prime minister's office and, last year, Canada's "financial intelligence unit." They also include the Resort Municipality of Whistler, and come from questions as simple as how many fish were being spawned at a federal facility—an answer shared with tour groups but not with an inquiring journalist before the spin masters were involved.

If it takes and/or spends public money and isn't being open and transparent about how it does so, it's an eligible nominee.

Do you have an egregious example that gets your own blood boiling? Nominations can be e-mailed to our president at nick@caj.ca.

The winner will be announced during the closing banquet for the #CAJ17 conference at the Sheraton Ottawa Hotel on April 29Registration for the conference is open, with early bird rates ending April 25.

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#CAJ17: Learn data journalism at an intensive two-day boot camp

OTTAWA, March 30, 2017 /CNW/ - The Canadian Association of Journalists is thrilled that some of Canada’s leading data journalists will spend a weekend teaching #CAJ17 delegates how to find, analyze and tell stories with data.

The CAJ has long featured data boot camps at its annual conferences, and the intensive workshops in Ottawa on April 28-29 will continue that tradition. King's College journalism professor Fred Vallance-Jones and CBC News' David McKie will team up to lead a series of workshops focusing on the power of unlocking data.

These award-winning journalists will be joined Friday and Saturday by an impressive lineup of trainers: experts from Esri Canada, distributors of ArcGIS; The Globe and Mail’s Michael Pereira; and CBC News’ Valérie Ouellet.

These sessions will cover a range of skills—from ground-level stuff like finding, cleaning and analysing data using spreadsheets to more complex skills such as mapping and making analysed data interactive. Several sessions require pre-registration, which can be done via email once you've signed up for the conference or at the registration desk on Friday.

Registration is currently open for this two-day conference, with fees starting at $249 plus HST for CAJ members for the full weekend, including a ticket to the conference banquet and gala. Rates for unemployed journalists and CAJ student members start at $75. Discounts are available for CAJ Award finalists as well those registering in a group. These early bird rates will rise after April 21. (Those attending the data sessions should bring a Wi-Fi capable laptop computer, either PC or Mac, for the hands-on portions.)

For those intending to stay at the Sheraton Ottawa Hotel, conference room rates starting at $169 plus taxes for a single room are still available. Check the Ottawa conference page on our website for more details.

The CAJ is Canada's largest national professional organization for journalists from all media, representing more than 500 members across the country. The CAJ's primary roles are to provide public-interest advocacy and high-quality professional development for its members.

For more information, please contact: Nick Taylor-Vaisey, CAJ President Phone: 647.968.2393 Email: nick@caj.ca

 

 

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#CAJ17 keynote: How journalists can build trust with communities

OTTAWA, March 29, 2017 /CNW/ - The Canadian Association of Journalists is pleased to announce The Coral Project’s Andrew Losowsky will deliver a keynote address at the CAJ’s annual conference on April 29.

As revenue spirals, echo chambers isolate readers and journalists, and dialogue gets ever more vitriolic, Losowsky leads The Coral Project, a collaboration between Mozilla, the New York Times and the Washington Post. He will share practical ideas and research to help journalists everywhere get closer to the communities they serve.

Losowsky’s keynote is just one of #CAJ17’s sessions focused on audience interaction. The conference will also include a workshop on how journalists can prevent and cope with harassment online. Journalists who have dealt with racist and sexist attacks will reflect on their own experiences—and an anti-harassment activist will offer practical advice to journalists.

Registration is currently open for this two-day conference, with fees starting at $249 plus HST for CAJ members for the full weekend, including a ticket to the conference banquet and gala. Rates for unemployed journalists and CAJ student members start at $75. Discounts are available for CAJ Award finalists as well those registering in a group. These early bird rates will rise after April 21.

For those intending to stay at the Sheraton Ottawa Hotel, conference room rates starting at $169 plus taxes for a single room are still available. Check the Ottawa conference page on our website for more details.

The CAJ is Canada's largest national professional organization for journalists from all media, representing nearly 500 members across the country. The CAJ's primary roles are to provide public-interest advocacy and high-quality professional development for its members.

For more information, please contact: Nick Taylor-Vaisey, CAJ President Phone: 647.968.2393 Email: nick@caj.ca

 

 

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ProPublica’s Eric Umansky delivering keynote on objectivity at #CAJ17

ProPublica’s Eric Umansky will deliver a keynote presentation on the death of journalistic objectivity on April 28 during the Canadian Association of Journalists’ annual national conference in Ottawa.

Umansky, a Pulitzer-Prize winning editor, will explain why journalists should abandon traditional objectivity—and what should replace it. At a time when terms like “alternative facts” are bandied about, and newsrooms are debating the role of the media in calling a lie a lie—even when it comes from the President of the United States—the independent, non-profit newsroom’s deputy managing editor will lay out a roadmap on how to replace objectivity with a new god: evidence.

 His presentation is just one in a series of conversations at #CAJ17 on the evolution of the news industry—and how we should tackle the challenges facing journalism.

Registration is currently open for this two-day conference, with fees starting at $249 plus HST for CAJ members for the full weekend, including a ticket to the conference banquet and gala. Rates for unemployed journalists and CAJ student members start at $75. Discounts are available for CAJ Award finalists as well those registering in a group. These early bird rates will rise after April 21.

For those intending to stay at the Sheraton Ottawa Hotel, conference room rates starting at $169 plus taxes for a single room are still available. Check the Ottawa conference page on our website for more details.

The CAJ is Canada's largest national professional organization for journalists from all media, representing nearly 500 members across the country. The CAJ's primary roles are to provide public-interest advocacy and high-quality professional development for its members.

For more information, please contact: Nick Taylor-Vaisey, CAJ President Cell: 647.968.2393 Email: nick@caj.ca

 

 

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Sitting down with Canadian Heritage Minister Mélanie Joly at #CAJ17

OTTAWA, March 27, 2017 /CNW/ - The Canadian Association of Journalists is pleased to announce that Minister of Canadian Heritage Mélanie Joly will participate in a keynote question and answer session at the CAJ’s annual national conference in Ottawa on April 28.

The bilingual sit-down conversation with the federal government’s point-person on the current state of Canadian media and its broader cultural context will touch on policy developments aimed at helping the news business, Joly’s perspective on the future of the news industry in Canada, and more.

The Q&A at the Sheraton Hotel in downtown Ottawa will follow a presentation from The Public Policy Forum’s Edward Greenspon on his organization’s Shattered Mirror study on the state of Canadian news media. It all adds up to a can’t-miss Friday on the future of news.

Registration is currently open for the two-day conference, with fees starting at $249 plus HST for CAJ members for the full weekend, including a ticket to the conference banquet and gala. Rates for unemployed journalists and CAJ student members start at $75. Discounts are available for CAJ Award finalists as well those registering in a group. These early bird rates will rise on April 21.

For those intending to stay at the Sheraton Ottawa Hotel, our conference room rates starting at $169 plus taxes and fees for a single room may still be available on request. Other preferential rates may also still be available.

The CAJ is Canada's largest national professional organization for journalists from all media, representing nearly 500 members across the country. The CAJ's primary roles are to provide public-interest advocacy and high-quality professional development for its members.

For more information: Nick Taylor-Vaisey, CAJ President Cell: 647.968.2393 Email: nick@caj.ca 

 

 

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Congratulations to the 2016 CAJ Awards finalists!

OTTAWA, March 28, 2017 /CNW/ - The Canadian Association of Journalists is pleased to announce the full list of finalists for its annual awards for outstanding investigative journalism in Canada published or broadcast in 2016.

The winning entry in most categories will receive a $500 cash prize. The recipients in each category will be announced April 29 at the CAJ Awards gala and conference banquet in Ottawa, part of the #CAJ17 annual conference at the Sheraton Ottawa Hotel.

Delegates registering for the full conference (April 28-29) in most registration categories get a banquet ticket as part of their registration. Standalone tickets are also available at a cost of $67.85. Register and purchase tickets today via the conference registration page. Early bird rates for the conference run until April 21.

Awards finalists registering for the conference – either one-day plus gala or full conference – are automatically eligible for a 10% discount off the relevant fee. If your organization wants to send more than five finalists to the conference, a 25% discount is available. Contact us to confirm eligibility and register.

The Don McGillivray Award for the best overall investigative report for 2016 will also be announced at the awards banquet.

Please note the media outlet listed is where the finalist worked at the time their entry was broadcast/published or where the particular entry was broadcast/published. Finalists are listed alphabetically by media outlet. Links, where available, have been provided in the titles of the finalists' entries.

The finalists in the OPEN MEDIA category are:

Heather Evans, Dave Seglins, Chelsea Gomez, Matthew Braga
Surveillance In Canada - Past, Present & Future
CBC News – Investigative unit

Holly Moore, Vera-Lynn Kubinec, Katie Nicholson, Joanne Levasseur, Harvey Cashore, Joseph Loiero, Tarannum Kamanli, Bob McKeown
Doctors Without Boundaries
CBC News – The Fifth Estate / Investigative unit

Steven Chase, Robert Fife
Party fundraising
The Globe and Mail

Karen Howlett, Justin Giovannetti, Nathan VanderKlippe, Andrea Woo, Les Perreaux, Laura Blenkinsop, Trish McAlaster, Michael Pereira, Melissa Tait
Killer High: How Canada Got Addicted to Fentanyl
The Globe and Mail

Randy Richmond, Morris Lamont, Kate Dubinski, Juanita Sims, Ian Gillespie
Indiscernible: the death of Jamie High
The London Free Press

The finalists in the COMMUNITY MEDIA category are:

Eva Wasney, Colin Corneau, Andrew Nguyen, Tyler Stephens, Matt Goerzen, Jim Lewthwaite
Knights of D-Day
The Brandon Sun

Travis Lupick, Amanda Siebert
A community response: How the worst overdose epidemic in Vancouver's history left the Downtown Eastside to fend for itself
The Georgia Straight

The finalists in the OPEN BROADCAST FEATURE category are:

Cullen Crozier
Forgotten Survivors
APTN Investigates

Shiral Tobin, Johanna Wagstaffe, Jessica Linzey, Lee Rosevere
Fault Lines
CBC News – Vancouver

Kalli Anderson
The Twiblings Project
Freelance / CBC Radio – The Doc Project

Team entry
Salute
Huffington Post / AOL Canada

Allison Tierney, Navin Harrilal, Shawney Cohen
Dopesick: Fentanyl's Deadly Grip
VICE – Viceland

The finalists in the OPEN BROADCAST NEWS category are:

Trina Roache, James Robinson
Black Tickle
APTN National News

Rosa Marchitelli, Manjula Dufresne, Jenn Blair, Karen Burgess, Francois Dallaire, David Horemans
Failure to Protect
CBC News – Go Public

Adrienne Arsenault, Michelle Gagnon, Nazim Baksh
The Extremes
CBC News – The National

Jill Macyshon
Sandy Bay Housing
CTV News

Rick Westhead, Paul Haber, Scott Ferguson, Darren York, Olivera Stojanovic, David Hughes, Brett Mitchell, Steve Dryden, Ken Volden, Anton Koschany
NHL Concussions
CTV News – W5 / TSN

The finalists in the COMMUNITY BROADCAST category are:

Natalie Clancy, Eric Rankin, Manjula Dufresne, Yvette Brend, Justin McElroy
The Frontline of Fentanyl
CBC News – Vancouver

James Evans
Fort McMurray Strong
CBC Radio One – Edmonton

Abigail Bimman
Unregistered nurse
CTV News Kitchener

The finalists in the CAJ / MARKETWIRED DATA JOURNALISM AWARD are:

Jacques Marcoux, Sean Kavanagh
311 calls for help handled so slowly, Winnipeg misses nearly half its targets
CBC News – Manitoba

Valérie Ouellet, Alex Boissonneault, Marie-Eve Potvin
10 years and $100 million in political donations
CBC News / Radio-Canada – Toronto

Renata D'Aliesio, Les Perreaux, Allan Maki, Jeremy Agius, Laura Blenkinsop
The Unremembered
The Globe and Mail

Joanna Frketich
Danger Zone
The Hamilton Spectator

Jeff Outhit
Critics see 'systemic racism' in police stops
Waterloo Region Record

The finalists in the ONLINE MEDIA category are:

Emma Loop
The Drone And the Damage Done
Buzzfeed News Canada

Sean Craig
What's Gone On Behind Closed Doors At Canada's Most-Visited Museum
Freelance / Buzzfeed News Canada

Joan Weeks, Karissa Donkin
Matthew Hines: Death in Custody
CBC News – Nova Scotia / New Brunswick

Lisa Jackson, Josh Bloch, Chris Bennett, Marty Flanagan, Connor Illsley, Anna Maria Tremonti, Kathleen Goldhar, CJ Hervey, James Milward
Highway of Tears: a virtual reality documentary
CBC Radio One – The Current

Mike De Souza
The Charest Affair
National Observer

The finalists in the PHOTOJOURNALISM category are:

Nahlah Ayed
The Rescuers
CBC News

Rafferty Baker
2016 portfolio
CBC News – Vancouver

Larry Wong
2016 portfolio
Postmedia Network – Edmonton

The finalists in the SCOOP category are:

Willow Fidler
Police admit racism
APTN National News

Diana Swain, Lori Ward, Timothy Sawa
Students Unhushed
CBC News – Investigative unit

Mercedes Stephenson
Suicide Bomber
CTV News

Colin Perkel
Canada plunging into elevator crisis
The Canadian Press

Joe Friesen
The death of Colten Boushie
The Globe and Mail

The finalists in the DAILY EXCELLENCE category are:

Olivia Condon, Vincent McDermott, Cullen Bird, Robert Murray
'It's gone. It's all gone': Wildfire empties Fort McMurray as flames enter city
Fort McMurray Today

John Cotter, Lauren Krugel, Dean Bennett, Sylvia Strojek, Mary Jo Laforest, Gwen Dambrofsky, Ken Trimble, Chris Purdy, Bob Weber, Robert Drinkwater, Jennifer Graham, Tim Cook, Kevin Ward.
Fort McMurray Wildfire
The Canadian Press

Susan Clairmont
Steadfast in their faith
The Hamilton Spectator

Jon Wells
Search ends in tragedy: Finnigan Danne found dead
The Hamilton Spectator

The finalists in the TEXT FEATURE category are:

Lezlie Lowe
Before the murder and after: the life of Tyler Richards
Freelance / The Coast – Halifax, N.S.

Tyler Dawson
Watchdogs, oversight and Ontario's thin blue line: How the stakes got so high
Ottawa Citizen

Paul Webster
Big Pharma vs. Everyone
Freelance / Report on Business Magazine

Jason Markusoff, Nancy Macdonald, Charlie Gillis
The Great Escape
Maclean's

Jon Wells
The forever girl
The Hamilton Spectator

The finalists in the JHR / CAJ AWARD FOR HUMAN RIGHTS REPORTING are:

Marnie Luke, Holly Moore, Cate Friesen, Heather Evans, Cecil Rosner, Connie Walker, Jillian Taylor, Angela Sterritt, Katie Nicholson, Geoff Leo, Jody Porter, Martha Troian, Chantelle Bellrichard, Katie Pedersen, Joanne Levasseur, Cameron Perrier, Kristy Hoffman, Kelly Bennett, Michelle Cheung, William Wolfe-Wylie, Richard Grasley, Ron Sloan, Donna Lee, Lara Schroeder, Diana Redegeld, Anne Mercer, Kate Zieman, Cathy Ross, Ginny Oakley, Ben Paris 
Unresolved: Case Closed or Murder? 
CBC News

Nahlah Ayed, Tracy Seeley 
Dirty Work 
CBC News – The National

Nancy Macdonald 
Canada's prisons are the new 'residential schools' 
Maclean's

Marc Ellison, Daniel Lafrance 
Safe House 
Freelance / The Toronto Star

Claire Ward, Kathryn Gretsinger, Taylor Owen, Daniel Hernandez, Michelle Ghoussoub, Codi Hauka, Jon Hernandez, Mike Lakusiak, Peter Mothe, Ahmed Najdat, Konstantine Roccas, Natalie Walters, Daisy Xiong 
Hidden in Plain Sight: Stories on Migration and HIV in Chile 
International Reporting Program / UBC Graduate School of Journalism / VICE News

The finalists in the CWA CANADA / CAJ AWARD FOR LABOUR REPORTING are:

Nelisha Vellani, Melissa Mancini, Charlsie Agro, Lindsay Sample
Restaurant dress codes: Should dressing sexy be a job requirement?
CBC News: Marketplace

Sara Mojtehedzadeh, Melissa Renwick, Paul Watson, Cameron Tulk, Kelsey Wilson, Frances Kelly
Lethal Legacy
Toronto Star

Min Sook Lee
Migrant Dreams
TVO

The finalists in the CAJ / CNW GROUP STUDENT AWARD OF EXCELLENCE are:

Adam Marsh
The Educated Homeless
Camosun College / Nexus Newspaper

Justina Deardoff, Hanna Deeves, Katherine Huitema
Not A Magic Pill
Mount Royal University / The Calgary Journal

Allister Aalders, Skye Bryden-Blom, Jennie Cyril, Joel LeBlanc, Daniel Mackenzie, Nic Meloney, Whitney Middleton, Matthew Moore, Hilary Pettigrew, Jean-Marc Samson, Blake Seymour, Callum Smith, Benoit Crawford-Leblanc, Jenn Edwards, Chris Lee, Nicole Ly, Dan MacIsaac, Ethan Saulnier, Brandon Munroe, Kadence Ellis, Kristen Brown, Ellen Coles, Ed Halverson, Scott Hastings, Nicole Martelle, Jane Nicholson, Andres Porras, Christian Roach, Marilyn Sexton, Olesya Shyvikova, John Wimberly, Morgan Jessome, CJ Killam, Nick Madore, Jake Nissen, Romney Tarasco, Jason Cohanim, Michael Decoste, Wyatt Estabrooks, Richard Harris, Caitlin Hartlen, Alyssa Lewis Graham
Untitled: The Legacy of Land in North Preston
Nova Scotia Community College

Alexander F. Quon
Lindell Smith: The inside story of how he took Halifax Peninsula North in a landslide
University of King's College, Halifax / The Signal

Consistent with information in the entry package instructions, judges had the discretion to name between one and five finalists in each award category. There were a total 276 entries for the 2016 awards program.

Congratulations to all our finalists. Your work has been outstanding, inspiring and a reminder of how despite the unending fiscal challenges facing our industry, Canadian journalists still produce plenty of amazing, important and impactful journalism. We thank you for entering and we hope to see you in Ottawa.

The Canadian Association of Journalists is a professional organization with about 600 members across Canada. The CAJ's primary roles are public-interest advocacy work and professional development for its members.

For further information:

Nick Taylor-Vaisey, CAJ president - 647-968-2393 cell, nick@caj.ca;

Hugo Rodrigues, Awards committee chair - hugo@caj.ca

www.caj.ca | www.facebook.com/CdnAssocJournalists | www.twitter.com/CAJ

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Press Freedom Coalition Condemns Criminal Charges Against Reporter Justin Brake

TORONTO (March 9, 2017) An international coalition of press freedom organizations have condemned in the strongest possible terms the criminal charges brought against Justin Brake, reporter and editor for The Independent, for his reporting on the Indigenous occupation of the Muskrat Falls site in October 2016. The charges are an outrageous assault by the RCMP on press freedom in Canada and must be withdrawn immediately.

According to the court docket, Brake is being charged with “mischief relating to a testamentary instrument or property greater than 5,000” and “unlawfully disobeying an order of the Court.” He has been summoned to appear in provincial court in Happy Valley-Goose Bay on April 11 to answer the charges.

The occupation of the Muskrat Falls site began on October 21, 2016, following weeks of demonstrations and a blockade by Indigenous activists. The protests were sparked by plans to flood a wide swath of land as part of the Muskrat Falls hydroelectric construction project. A study found that Labrador Inuit would be exposed to harmful levels of methylmercury if the Muskrat Falls reservoir was not fully cleared of vegetation before it is flooded. Brake followed activists as they cut the lock guarding the camp gate and entered the site, and remained as the only journalist to cover the story from inside the camp.

Brake left the site after being named in an October 24, 2016, court order, issued by the Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador, that compelled authorities to arrest him if he remained. The order came at the request of Nalcor, the Crown corporation developing the Muskrat Falls site. Nalcor failed to identify Brake as a journalist in its affidavit seeking the injunction.

"This is a serious threat to press freedom," says CJFE executive director Tom Henheffer. "This is a well-known tactic to prevent coverage by denying access to journalists. The RCMP has a long history of brutality towards indigenous protesters, which is one reason it is critically important to have a journalist there as an observer."

The charges against Brake come amidst a series of major press freedom violations in Canada, and are part of a disturbing pattern of legal intimidation against journalists and media workers by police and security forces. Canada ranks 18th out of 180 countries in Reporters Without Borders' (RSF) 2016 World Press Freedom Index, down ten spots from 2015.

Brake’s reporting provided the public with exclusive coverage on a matter of clear public interest, and was cited in his nomination by the Newfoundland and Labrador Human Rights Commission for the 2016 Human Rights Awards. Brake now faces a penalty of up to 10 years in prison for this very same work.

The RCMP’s decision to charge Brake is an unacceptable assault on the public’s right to know, and could cause a chill in reporting on controversies over resource development projects and Indigenous-led protests. It is essential that journalists be able to safely and freely cover events in the public interest, such as the occupation of Muskrat Falls, without fear of legal reprisals. We urge the RCMP to immediately withdraw all charges against Brake.

Signed:

Alice Klein, President, CJFE; Mohamed Fahmy,Co-founder, The Fahmy Foundation; Nick Taylor-Vaisey, President, Canadian Association of Journalists;  Gregg Leslie, Legal Defense Director, Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press; Delphine Halgand, North America Director, Reporters Without Borders

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The White House must give the press equal treatment

In response to the White House's decision to exclude certain news organizations from an informal news briefing last week, the Canadian Association of Journalists is publishing an open letter, which you can read in its entirety below.

RE: The White House’s relationship with the press corps

The Canadian Association of Journalists adds its voice to those gravely concerned about President Donald Trump’s lack of respect for a free press. The President’s dangerous disregard for a free press started with tweets berating certain news organizations, and escalated recently when those same news outlets, and others, were barred from an informal press briefing.

Many of the CAJ’s members reported the news when former prime minister Stephen Harper attempted to manipulate, shut out, and ultimately bypass journalists both in the nation’s capital and across Canada. Harper’s approach to the press sometimes divided journalists, at least to some extent, as they reacted to rules imposed on the prime minister’s press availabilities.

We don’t intend to dredge up the past. But the CAJ urges Trump’s administration to offer equal treatment to every member of the White House press corps, and further to make no attempt to restrict a free press. We also urge every news organization to resist any government’s attempt—on both sides of the border—to divide the press or play favourites.

News organizations thrive on competition, but we’re worse off when we’re divided at the whim of a politician who decides, based on a desire to protect his own interests, that we don’t all have an equal right to report on his leadership.

Sincerely,

Nick Taylor-Vaisey
President, Canadian Association of Journalists

 

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Check out the latest Media Mag!

You might remember our New Year's message to members vowed to fight for and celebrate journalism in 2017. Well, we're going to start with a little bit of celebration. The CAJ presents its latest awards edition of Media Magazine, edited by the diligent David McKie, an investigative reporter at CBC News who takes time every year to contact award-winning Canadian journalists and ask them to tell the stories behind their powerful journalism.

Find the latest edition of Media here (and to read back issues dating to 1997, click here). The issue goes in-depth on journalism that won both CAJ Awards and National Newspaper Awards in 2016. As McKie reminds us in his opening editorial, these stories had serious impact. Just a sampling:

The Telegraph-Journal forced daycare operations to fire dubious employees, and become more diligent in their criminal background checks. The Aboriginal Peoples Television Network’s work prompted Winnipeg’s mayor to begin asking tough questions about working conditions. And Radio-Canada’s Enquête forced Quebec’s Liberal government to hold an inquiry into the treatment of Indigenous women in Val d’Or.

Anyone who scanned the last year's lists of award winners knows that reporting into the plight of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls won the admiration of judges across the board. The team behind the Toronto Star's Gone series—read it all here—won the CAJ's Open Media award, as well as the NNA for Project of the Year. In Media, the team behind the investigations pulls back the curtain on their reporting—and offers crucial lessons learned for all of us to ponder.

Every story in Media provides an opportunity to learn. In these pages, you'll gain insight into how and why journalists told their stories, but you'll also find invaluable tips and tricks that could strengthen your own work. We're so grateful that journalists continually share their wisdom with peers. As McKie concludes: "Be inspired. Make a difference. These folks did."


 

A few words of thanks go to the Atkinson Foundation and the Michener Awards Foundation for advertising in Media. Our final thanks is reserved for David McKie, Media's editor who spends countless hours of free time assembling every edition. If you have a sec, tweet him your thanks.

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Let’s fight for—and celebrate—journalism in 2017

Dear CAJ Supporters,

As our social feeds are inundated with friends and family bidding good riddance to 2016, we can’t forget that our hard work on behalf of journalists is constant, and doesn’t pay attention to calendars turning over into new years. There will be fights—and victories—in the year to come, and one year ending doesn’t somehow reset the counter. That said, we’d like to take a minute to reflect on some of our work from the past year. And then turn our attention to the future.

2016 brought newsroom cuts and consolidation, press-freedom violations, as well as steps forward and backward on access to information laws, and the CAJ spoke out on those issues repeatedly in national media. We also testified twice at House of Commons committees, on ATIP reform and the future of local news.

We teamed up with other organizations repeatedly. We joined a coalition of press-freedom groups as intervenors in an appeal of an RCMP production order that would force VICE journalist Ben Makuch to turn over correspondence with a source. We worked with Ryerson’s Centre for Free Expression and PEN Canada on a report into mass surveillance. And we spoke out loudly with press-freedom groups when police surveillance of journalists in Montreal came to light.

In May, we held our annual two-day conference in Edmonton, where delegates picked up must-have skills from their peers, learned about alternative storytelling and funding models, and heard from cutting-edge keynotes including Catherine Gicheru and Shadi Rahimi.

That conference concluded with the CAJ Awards Gala, which honoured the best Canadian storytelling of 2015. CBC News took home the Don McGillivray Award for Investigative Journalism for its investigative work on missing and murdered Indigenous women.

At the gala, we also launched a fellowship in cooperation with the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network. A few months later, we named John W. Murray as the program’s first fellow. Two weeks after that, we named the latest recipients of the Aga Khan-CAJ Fellowship for International Development Reporting, Frédérick Lavoie and Jennifer Yang. And earlier in the fall, we honoured the latest EU-Canada Young Journalist Fellowship winners at a reception in Ottawa.

All told, 2016 was a shocking, scary year for journalists—but also hopeful. No doubt 2017 will be no different, and our fight for journalists—and celebration of our craft—continues. Happy New Year.

Yours Sincerely,

Nick Taylor-Vaisey

 

 

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