Blog Archives

Here's how Ottawa can help local news: CAJ

OTTAWAJune 16, 2017 /CNW/ — The Canadian Association of Journalists supports several recommendations in a parliamentary committee's report on the future of local news that proactively—but non-intrusively—encourage high-quality journalism in Canada.

The House of Commons Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage's latest report, Disruption: Change and Churning in Canada'sMedia Landscape, made 20 recommendations to strengthen local news across Canada. The CAJ appreciates the committee's attempt to consult widely as it studied an issue critical to the public interest—a process that included CAJ testimony.

Several of the committee's recommendations responded to the priorities of like-minded journalism organizations that highlighted the revenue problem plaguing local news, including the Canadian Newspaper Association and others. The CAJ supports recommendations to:

  • Amend sections 19, 19.01 and 19.1 of the Income Tax Act to allow deduction of digital advertising on Canadian-owned platforms;

  • Introduce a tax credit to compensate print media companies for a portion of their capital and labour investments in digital media; and

  • Ensure that foreign news aggregators are subject to the same tax obligations as Canadian providers


"As advertising dollars slipped away, gobbled up by digital giants like Facebook and Google, journalists have watched their newsrooms shrink," said CAJ President Nick Taylor-Vaisey. "These measures could help local newsrooms reclaim some of that lost revenue."

One of the CAJ's stated priorities comprised one of the lesser reported recommendations of Disruption, which called on the federal government to make it easier for non-profit journalism outlets to flourish in Canada by making those organizations eligible for charity status.

"The recommendation on charity status reflects a long-simmering discussion in Canada about alternative funding models for journalism," said Taylor-Vaisey. "We know there's all kinds of potential for not-for-profits to produce public-interest journalism that matters."

The CAJ also supports the committee's recommendation on encouraging Indigenous journalism, which echoes a recommendation of the Public Policy Forum's Shattered Mirror report. "Canadian newsrooms desperately need Indigenous voices to tell stories that matter, and the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network is well-suited to lead any effort to that end," said Taylor-Vaisey.

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.

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Announcing the 2017 EU-Canada Young Journalist Fellows

OTTAWAJune 14, 2017 /CNW/ - The European Union Delegation to Canada and the Canadian Association of Journalists (CAJ) are pleased to announce the three winners of the 2017 EU-Canada Young Journalist Fellowship who will participate in a week-long study tour of European Union institutions in Brussels in October.

Prior to the study tour, the winners will be recognized at an awards ceremony jointly organized with the Honourable Geoff Regan, Speaker of the House of Commons, in the fall in Ottawa.

The winners include:

Marie-Danielle Smith,  National Post journalist, for her piece:
Cheese and seafood among irritants threatening to cause stink during CETA ratification

Jennifer Ackerman, journalism student at University of Regina,  for her TV report:
CETA application in Saskatchewan

Megan Devlin, journalism student at University of British Columbia, for her story:
It wasn't racism: Young Brexiteers say economy, EU control more important than immigration

The European Union Delegation is delighted to partner with the CAJ on this initiative aimed at giving young Canadian journalists an opportunity to advance their career goals and create life-long bonds with Europeans.

We would like to thank all those who expressed an interest and entered the contest and we are looking forward to the next edition of the EU-Canada Young Journalist Fellowship to be launched in the spring of 2018.

The European Union Delegation to Canada is a diplomatic mission with the mandate to promote the policies and positions of the European Union in Canada, to enhance the knowledge and understanding of the European Union as well as to give visibility, promote and strengthen EU-Canada relations. Follow us @EUinCanada and facebook.com/EUinCanada.

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 high?quality professional development for its members and public?interest advocacy. Follow @caj and facebook.com/CdnAssocJournalists.

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We're hiring a part-time administrator!

Administrator (part-time)
Canadian Association of Journalists

The Canadian Association of Journalists is seeking a part-time administrator to assist the National Board of Directors with providing high-quality service to its members. The successful applicant would begin their duties in the month of June 2017. 

Reporting directly to the CAJ president and treasurer, the administrator also works with other members of the National Board to meet the needs of our member-based organization. The administrator’s duties include, in part:

  • Answering emails and general inquiries from members and the general public in English and French;

  • Processing registrations and completing verification on registrants;

  • Sending renewal notices and following up with those members who have not renewed their memberships;

  • Welcoming new members to the association and providing information on member services and perks;

  • The preparation and distribution of monthly newsletters emailed to members;

  • Assisting the community manager with promotion of CAJ priorities and activity;

  • Managing the CAJ’s social media community membership/participation on Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin

  • Processing requests for membership cards and shipping our third-party contractor; and,

  • Providing other support as requested to the CAJ board for its projects and events. 

This position is well-suited to someone with an understanding of the conditions under which Canadian journalists work. The successful applicant would be expected to work 8-11 hours a week from her or his own facilities and is paid an hourly rate upon invoice. Knowledge of MailChimp, the Google Apps platform, Adobe Photoshop and InDesign, and other similar software would be considered an asset.

Subject to National Board approval in June, this position may include an additional three hours a week to complete the following tasks:

  • Regular updating of content on the CAJ’s website; and

  • Distribution of CAJ content across various email listservs

Knowledge of various social media and basic HTML would be considered an asset for these tasks, which would be carried out in co-operation with the CAJ’s community manager.

Those interested in the position are asked to email a resume and cover letter to the hiring committee through CAJ president Nick Taylor-Vaisey – nick@caj.ca.

This posting will close on June 7 at 11:59 p.m. ET.

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Canadian newsrooms must transform themselves: CAJ

May 20, 2017 / CNW / — Canadian journalists have spent a week confronting complex debates about cultural appropriation, free expression and the underrepresentation of minority and marginalized writers in most major newsrooms. The Canadian Association of Journalists understands these issues are divisive, but urges media owners to lead an industry-wide effort to transform newsroom culture—and make room for more diverse voices.

As the #AppropriationPrize controversy that grew out of Hal Niedzviecki’s resignation as editor of the Writers’ Union of Canada’s magazine continues to unfold, the CAJ remains a champion of free expression. Public debate requires voices from a wide variety of perspectives, including and especially those that challenge the status quo.

But the recent controversy has laid bare the ugly truth that Canadian media suffers from a lack of prominent diverse voices and varied perspectives. “Journalists need to challenge our own assumptions by engaging, learning about, and finally writing about other cultures,” said CAJ President Nick Taylor-Vaisey. “But newsroom leaders also need to recognize the glaring lack of non-white perspectives on their own mastheads and broadcasts—and make tangible, sustainable changes that create more room for those voices.

“Canadian newsrooms are nowhere near as culturally diverse as many of the communities we cover,” said Taylor-Vaisey. “The only way to change that is to hire—and amplify—more voices from as many perspectives as possible.”

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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APTN wins CAJ Charles Bury Award

OTTAWA, April 30, 2017 /CNW/ – The Canadian Association of Journalists recognized the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network with the CAJ Charles Bury Award at its annual awards gala at the Sheraton Ottawa Hotel on April 29.

The award is given under circumstances of exceptional merit to those people or organizations that have made a significant contribution to Canadian journalism. APTN is leading the charge on giving Indigenous people in Canada a voice on both sides of the camera, and the network is a stellar example of a growing news organization that embraces advocacy and professional development.

“When it comes to supporting journalists and fighting for journalism, APTN punches above its weight,” said CAJ President Nick Taylor-Vaisey. “They fight for press freedom in the courts. They pitched, organized and funded vital programming at our conference. They’re everywhere.”

Taylor-Vaisey also highlighted the individual contribution of Karyn Pugliese, whose name is front and centre in so much of APTN’s work. “As if all that wasn’t enough, Karyn even joined our ethics committee late last year,” said Taylor-Vaisey. “There’s no end to her energy and dedication.”

This award, formerly known as the President’s Award, was renamed in honour of veteran journalist and long-time CAJ board member Charles Bury, who died in February 2014.

The CAJ is Canada’s largest national professional organization for journalists from all media, representing nearly 600 members across the country. The CAJ’s primary roles are to provide high-quality professional development for its members and public-interest advocacy.

For further information:
Nick Taylor-Vaisey, CAJ president – 647-968-2393 cell, nick@caj.ca

 

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‘Congratulations’ to Ontario’s Office of the Fire Marshal!

OTTAWA, April 30, 2017 /CNW/ – The most secretive government department in Canada, as “honoured” by the Canadian Association of Journalists at its annual awards gala at the Sheraton Ottawa Hotel on April 29, is Ontario’s Office of the Fire Marshal.

The winning nomination for this year’s Code of Silence award came from Larry Cornies of the London Free Press, whose reporting on the aftermath of a costly fire, and a lack of transparency on the part of the London Fire Department and provincial Fire Marshal’s office, demonstrated a clear pattern of secrecy.

After a fire on June 30, 2016, which cost $1.5 million and destroyed a dozen businesses, Cornies inquired about the department’s response time. City council had earlier endorsed a goal of responding to fires within four minutes. The department referred all questions to the Fire Marshal’s office. No one would offer the data, which would have been available.

A mere 249 days later, after two appeals through freedom-of-information laws, the OFM finally revealed the response time: seven minutes and 11 seconds.

“The eight-month-long obfuscation raises the question of how city councillors in Ontario are supposed to evaluate the performance and effectiveness of the fire departments accountable to them when such basic information is suppressed,” Cornies wrote in his nomination. “The OFM operates within a culture of secrecy—a culture that reaches into municipal departments that should instead be responsive to city councils and the citizens they serve.

“And all this under the nose of a provincial government that prides itself on having adopted ‘open government’ principles.”

Needless to say, the CAJ agrees.

We also awarded an honourable mention to the National Energy Board, which hired a vice-president of transparency and strategic engagement who, soon after taking the job, decided to “warn employees that they were under investigation by a private security firm for speaking to reporters.” That investigation was based on a “preliminary assessment” by the firm. When National Observer’s Mike De Souza, the NEB’s nominator, filed an access-to-information request for that report, the NEB told him there was no record of such an assessment.

Finally, we placed the Trudeau government on notice. After promising substantive—and necessary—access-to-information reform during the last campaign, the government has since backed away from any timelines at all on producing real results. “The Liberals did everything they could to match the Harper government’s record on this file,” said CAJ President Nick Taylor-Vaisey. “They fell a little short this year, but we have a good feeling about next year.”

The CAJ is Canada’s largest national professional organization for journalists from all media, representing nearly 600 members across the country. The CAJ’s primary roles are to provide high-quality professional development for its members and public-interest advocacy.

For further information:
Nick Taylor-Vaisey, CAJ president – 647-968-2393 cell, nick@caj.ca

 

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Congratulations to the 2016 CAJ Awards winners!

OTTAWA, April 30, 2017 /CNW/ – A front-line presentation of Fentanyl’s impact in Vancouver has been awarded the Canadian Association of Journalists’ Don McGillivray Award.

The Don McGillivray Award is presented to the piece submitted to the CAJ’s annual awards program that a panel of judges felt best exemplified the top investigative journalism completed by Canadian media in the 2016 calendar year. Candidates for this award were drawn from the seven recipients of the CAJ Awards’ investigative categories.

Travis Lupick and Amanda Siebert of the Georgia Straight won the 2016 McGillivray Award, for their work showcasing the impact this dangerous opioid is having within Vancouver's vulnerable neighbourhoods.

The CAJ Awards honours exemplary journalism across 14 categories, including seven investigative categories. The winning entry in most categories received a $500 cash prize. The recipients were announced April 29 at the CAJ Awards gala and conference banquet in Ottawa, part of the #CAJ17 annual conference at the Sheraton Ottawa Hotel.

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. Links, where available, have been provided in the titles of the recipients' entries.

The recipients in the OPEN MEDIA category are:

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

 

The recipients in the COMMUNITY MEDIA category are:

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 recipients in the OPEN BROADCAST FEATURE category are:

Shiral Tobin, Johanna Wagstaffe, Jessica Linzey, Lee Rosevere

Fault Lines

CBC News – Vancouver 

 

The recipients in the OPEN BROADCAST NEWS category are:

Adrienne Arsenault, Michelle Gagnon, Nazim Baksh

The Extremes

CBC News – The National

 

The recipient in the COMMUNITY BROADCAST category is:

Abigail Bimman

Unregistered nurse

CTV News Kitchener

 

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

Renata D’Aliesio, Les Perreaux, Allan Maki, Jeremy Agius, Laura Blenkinsop

The Unremembered

The Globe and Mail

 

The recipient in the ONLINE MEDIA category is:

Mike De Souza

The Charest Affair

National Observer

 

The recipient in the PHOTOJOURNALISM category is:

Nahlah Ayed

The Rescuers

CBC News

 

The recipients in the SCOOP category are:

Diana Swain, Lori Ward, Timothy Sawa

Students Unhushed

CBC News – Investigative unit

 

The recipients in the DAILY EXCELLENCE category are:

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

 

The recipients in the TEXT FEATURE category are:

Jason Markusoff, Nancy Macdonald, Charlie Gillis

The Great Escape

Maclean’s

 

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

Marc Ellison, Daniel Lafrance

Safe House

Freelance / The Toronto Star

 

The recipient in the CWA CANADA / CAJ AWARD FOR LABOUR REPORTING is:

Min Sook Lee

Migrant Dreams

TVO

 

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

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

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 recipients. Your work stands as a testament that despite the increasing, complex challenges facing our industry, Canadian journalists continue to produce exemplary journalism.

The Canadian Association of Journalists is a professional organization with nearly 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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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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