May 04, 2018 8:30 AM to May 06, 2018 12:00 PM
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Hyatt Regency Toronto

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travel discounts

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For WestJet, use Coupon Code 7EAB2GY when booking online -- or, if calling in, Promo Code YYZ02 -- for 10% off Econo and 15% off Plus base fares between Toronto and anywhere WestJet flies in North America from April 29 to May 12, 2018.

Porter Air


For Porter, use Promo Code CAJ18 for 10% off available base fares (with exception of lowest class fare during public seat sale)  between Toronto and any Canadian or American destination Porter flies from May 1 to May 8, 2018.


For Via Rail, use Discount Code 13701 for 10% off best available fare in Economy, Economy Plus, Business, Business Plus, Sleeper class. Discount does not apply to Escape fares and Prestige Class. For travel to/from Toronto from May 2 to May 8, 2018. You must use, or create, a profile before booking. Maximum two passengers per booking. One complimentary stopover allowed at no additional charge. For travel in Business class, first stopover at no additional charge, provided stopover takes place in Toronto, Montréal or Ottawa only.


#CAJ18 Annual Conference

We get excited about CAJ conferences every year, but this one is special. This year, the CAJ turns 40, and we're celebrating all those years of leading professional development and vital advocacy on behalf of journalists—always with an eye to the future. Get ready for #CAJ18 which runs May 4-5, 2018 at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Toronto.

As always, the conference concludes with the CAJ Awards gala on Saturday night, where we toast the best work in Canadian journalism in 2017. (Check out the list of finalists here!) 

Full conference schedule.


For two days, delegates will hear outstanding keynote speakers and be immersed in workshops and panels led by fellow working journalists from across Canada and the United States.  

You'll build valuable skills and network with your peers. And we'll look fondly back at 40 years of leading professional development and passionate advocacy, and confidently ahead to whatever comes next for our industry.

This year, the data stream is back and better than ever. On top of our extensive lineup of data sessions, we're partnering with University of King's & Ryerson to provide a week of intensive data journalism training at Ryerson from May 7-11. CAJ'ers who sign up for both CAJ18 & the data school get 10% off both. More on that here.

We will also have YouTube training by Google Labs, a panel for freelancers who want a push in the right direction, and a workshop for photojournalists who want practical training.

On Sunday morning, we'll also hold our annual general meeting to report to membership on the organization's activities and finances for the prior year.

Join us at the Hyatt Regency Toronto on May 4-6, 2018. Please note: The Hyatt has sold out for Saturday, May 5 and also may not have rooms left for Thursday, May 3 or Friday, May 4. Nearby hotels include the Marriott (5- min. walk), Hilton Garden Inn (1-min. walk),  Le Germain (3-min. walk). A bit farther away you will find the Hilton Doubletree (about 20-min. walk or two stops on the subway). 

Regular members: $251.00 (+HST)

Students and unemployed journalist members: $75.00 (+HST)

These early-bird rates go up on April 27th. 

Not a member? Become one today!

THE SCHEDULE (developing) 


8:15-10:00 a.m. The Toronto Star's man in Washington, Daniel Dale, will kick things off on Friday morning by reflecting on his exhaustive fact-checking of U.S. President Donald Trump during a tumultuous year south of the border.

10:15-11:15 a.m. Victimizing Indigenous victims: headlines and ticker descriptions during Gerald Stanley and Raymond Cormier trials show media outlet still aren't getting it. Sheila North, a former CBC reporter turned grand chief in Manitoba, will delve into broader coverage of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls. Moderated by Kathleen Martens.

10:15-11:15 a.m. The year in data journalism: An increasing number of journalists are using trends buried in databases to tell important stories that track everything from the inability of police to properly investigate sexual assaults to the mistreatment of our most vulnerable in institutions such as nursing homes. The data explained what happened. Shoe-leather reporting revealed the all-important why. The resulting stories demanded accountability. Some of those stories are up for awards; others formed the backbone of ongoing coverage of important issues. This session, led by award-winning journalist David McKie, provides an inspiring retrospective of some of those stories.  

10:15-11:15 a.m. The aperture of editorial: The talented team from the Toronto Star, led by Rene Johnston, guides you through the basic steps of shooting an editorial for a major daily.

10:15-11:15 a.m. How to fund Canadian journalism: Creative disruption has meant new opportunities for independent journalism, on-demand information, and storytelling both transparent and responsive. But who pays for it, and how? Traditional revenue models have been upended, and our sense of what gets funded and how is transforming in-step with new models of reporting. Hear from those at the forefront of new journalism about why things are changing, how to sell your stories, and who should pay for the essential service of informing an electorate. With Erin Millar (Discourse Media), Jesse Brown (CanadaLand), Alice Klein (Now Magazine), Tom Henheffer (Consultant, former Vice)

11:20 a.m.-12:20 p.m. Introduction to longform feature editing: Where do you start with someone else's draft? How do you identify the basic issues with a piece? How do you find and fix structural problems? How do you impose changes without losing a writer's voice? Carmine Starnino, deputy editor of the Walrus, will lead this rigorous introduction to the editing craft. This workshop is for writers hoping to move into editing and editors looking to hone their longform skills.

11:20 a.m.-12:20 p.m. Trump's impact on Canada revealed by data: The election of U.S. President Donald Trump has sent ripples — and sometimes earthquakes — throughout the world. Data analysis is a uniquely positioned tool to reveal these effects here in Canada. Terra Ciolfe of Maclean’s and Anna Mehler Paperny of Reuters talk about how data journalism allowed them to illuminate dramatic changes in migration and immigration, and how Canadian politicians were left scrambling to counteract Trump's threatened changes to trade agreements.

11:20 a.m.-12:20 p.m. Fireside chat with Google News: If you want to know more about what makes Google News tick, watch veteran digital journalist David Skok lead an open Q&A with Richard Gingras, global vice-president of Google News. For more than thirty years, Gingras has led highly regarded efforts in the development of online services, software, and new media. Over the last several years, he has focused his attention on the transformation of the media landscape. Skok has over 15 years of progressively senior digital experience in North America’s leading news organizations. Most recently, he was the associate editor and head of editorial strategy at the Toronto Star. He was also the managing editor and vice-president of digital for the Boston Globe. Previously, Skok was the co-creator and director of digital for Global News, where he launched and built

11:20 a.m.-12:20 p.m. Trauma-Informed Journalism: Exposure to traumatic incidents and people who have experienced trauma is a given for most journalists. But it's vital to understand trauma and learn methods for reporting these stories with sensitivity and respect for the subjects, as well as a greater awareness of the potential risks involved. This session is led by Matthew Pearson, the 2017 Michener-Deacon Fellow for Journalism Education, award-winning staff reporter at the Ottawa Citizen and part-time journalism instructor.

1:20-2:25 p.m. KEYNOTE: Amy King, chief editor of Washington Post's The Lily, will talk about building a community where women can engage the news—and be empowered in the process.

2:30-3:30 p.m. ATIPs from A to Z: What it takes to publish investigative journalism using access to information and privacy requests. Join Renata D’Aliesio (The Globe and Mail), Kimberly Ivany (CBC’s The Fifth Estate), Jesse McLean (The Toronto Star) and moderator Zach Dubinsky (CBC News Investigative Unit) for this engaging ATIP panel. Let them walk you through their most impactful stories and how they keep government officials and agencies accountable to the public. Leave the session with tips about ATIPs so you can incorporate their investigative techniques in your own work.

2:30-3:30 p.m. Demystifying data journalism: Data journalism. The very term strikes fear in the minds of many journalists, visions of complex numbers keeping them awake at night. Sure, there are some numbers. But data journalism is mostly about new ways to find and tell important stories, and getting started doesn’t have to be hard. Valerie Ouellet, CBC national data journalist, and Fred Vallance-Jones of the University of King's College, show you why.

2:30-3:30 p.m. Reporting on suicide: Despite a growing emphasis being placed on mental health reporting, many journalists are very uncertain about how to approach the subject of suicide. To provide some clarity, the Canadian Psychiatric Association has released an update to its widely read guide on how to handle the reporting of suicides. This session will bring together different perspectives - from clinical practitioners, to educators, to practicing journalists on how to cover suicides responsibly. With Dr. Mark Sinyor, Gayle MacDonald (Globe and Mail) and Gavin Adamson (Ryerson). 

2:30-3:30 p.m. CPJ: A primer: The Committee to Protect Journalists may be based in New York City but its staffers work around the globe to denounce and document press freedom violations the world over. Kerry Paterson (a Canadian!) is here to tell us why you want to follow their social media channels and have their number in your smartphone.

3:35-4:35 p.m. Creating interactive story maps in minutes: With so many news sources available today, the competition for readers’ attention has become fiercer. How do you make sure your story stands out? Putting a catchy title, lively text, compelling photos, video or audio and an interactive map together into a story map could help you do that. Learn how to create several types of story maps in minutes – no coding skills required. This session is led by Bryan Ladds, associate GIS analyst, Esri Canada. Participants in this session will need a laptop with a web browser, preferably Chrome or Firefox.

3:35-4:35 p.m. Journalists in trouble: More of us are being asked to risk intimidation, physical harm, and even arrest because of the work we do. Justin Brake (APTN), Jenni Monet (international freelancer) and Ben Makuch (Vice) have been there and will discuss their legal run-ins and what the impact has been. 

3:35-4:35 p.m. How to freelance and succeed in today’s evolving media market. Whether you’re a beginner or mid-career, this freelance writing panel has tips for everyone from four of Canada’s veteran writers and editors: Steve Brearton, Elianna LevNancy Carr, and Diane Peters. Their work has graced the pages/websites of The Globe and Mail, Maclean’s and Toronto Life, to name a few. Come hear about these pros’ journeys, their perspectives about the business and how to cultivate great working relationships with editors in today’s evolving editorial/corporate market. Leave with the confidence to take your freelance career to the next level.

3:35-4:35 p.m. MoJo 101: "Gear, gak and Grrrrrr" ... from the world of mobile journalism: An introduction to the essential tools, best practices, frustrations and successes of a MoJo. How to use an iPhone and a backpack to file from the field for TV, radio and online. Led by Erin Collins (CBC).

4:40-5:40 p.m. The 10 fundamentals of a YouTube channel for journalists and newsrooms: This session focuses on the fundamentals of creating a YouTube channel, building a subscriber base, finding content topics and understanding how to deliver content your audience actually wants to watch -- while keeping ethics and the fundamentals of journalism in mind. This session is led by Victoria (Vix) Reitano, an expert on all things digital marketing, online business, influencer brand deals and e-commerce solutions. For the past decade, she has managed the digital brands for on-air talent, Emmy-award winning journalists, United Nations committees and special projects, and small businesses, e-commerce startups and more. 

 4:40-5:40 p.m. Covering Thunder Bay: In Thunder Bay, Ont., the deaths of several Indigenous students have gone unexplained for years, and recommendations produced by a coroner’s inquest have failed to produce any answers. Willow Fiddler of the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network will join the Toronto Star’s Tanya Talaga and freelance journalist Ryan McMahon to explain how reporters are getting answers, and why journalists should look beyond Thunder Bay to understand why Indigenous children are at risk. Moderated by Karyn Pugliese

4:40-5:40 p.m. The CAJ at 40: It’s been 40 years since the founding of the Centre for Investigative Journalism, which later became the CAJ. What did we learn? Where do we go from here? Join current and former board members and executive directors for a look back and look ahead. This discussion will be led by CAJ president Nick Taylor-Vaisey.

4:40-5:40 p.m. Location analytics: Unlocking hidden stories in your data: As a journalist, you have access to vast amounts of data. But, how do you get meaningful insights out of them? Learn how to integrate data from different sources, visualize data to find trends and patterns, and present your findings in an engaging, accessible way. This session is led by Bryan Ladds, associate GIS analyst, Esri Canada. Participants in this session will need a laptop with a web browser, preferably Chrome or Firefox.

7-10 p.m. CAJ40 bday bash! 


8:30-9:30 a.m. Freeze Frame > Diversity, Instagram and the future of photojournalism: Photojournalists are often the unsung heroes of a newspaper, snapping shots like the sailor and nurse in Times Square or the face-off during the Oka Crisis. But is there enough diversity behind the lens? Former Toronto Star photojournalist James Russell moderates a panel featuring Fred Lum, Veronica Henri and Jalani Morgan.

8:30-9:30 a.m.  The new far-right movement thinks they can misrepresent themselves to journalists and get away with it. Are they right? Let's dissect the alt-light, anti-Muslim movement, and the antisemitic and openly racist alt-right and discuss how they benefit from lazy or overworked journalists, tamper with news stories, and target colleagues, particularly women, LGBTQ+, and people of colour, for harassment. We will discuss best practices for investigating these groups and representing them accurately. And we want to hear from you: how can we use true, ethical, and hard-hitting journalism to counter hate groups? With Mack Lamoureux, Evan Balgord, Ishmael Daro, and Nora Loreto.

8:30-9:30 a.m. Excel basics 1: In this hands-on session hosted by Fred Vallance-Jones of the University of King’s College, David McKie of CBC News and Patrick Cain of Global News, you’ll learn the basics of using Microsoft Excel for simple data analysis. Note: While these sessions can be attended separately, you will get the most out of them if you attend both. Participants will need a laptop with Excel installed (you can use OpenOffice, but the experience may not be as good)

8:30-9:30 a.m. The science behind firearms training: This workshop will explain how police are trained in the use of firearms, explore some of the myths involving firearms, discuss the physiology of stress and how that relates to firearms, and illustrate how those reactions could affect a person’s use of a gun in a high-stress situation. Dave Brown, a professional firearms trainer, leads the session. He is one of few civilians respected as a police weapons expert and is recognized in court as an expert witness. He also helped write the book on firearms safety in Canada.

9:35-10:35 a.m. Here is an advanced tutorial in mobile storytelling and delivery. For those who are familiar with the gear, or already operating in the space, this session offers a chance to discuss works in progress and editing. Led by Erin Collins of CBC.  

9:35-10:35 a.m. Excel basics 2:  Continuation of Excel basics 1.

9:35-10:35 a.m. News Reporting 101: Coding. Data. Entrepreneurship. We hear a lot about specialization in journalism, particularly at a time when general reporter postions vanish as local newsrooms shrink or disappear. So how does general news reporting fit in? Do we teach students how to cover a news conference, for example, or train them to do specialized work or develop specific skills? Is there a right balance? This discussion is for journalism educators, media leaders and anyone who wants to help shape the future of journalism education in Canada. With Joe Banks, Gavin Adamson, Terra Tailleur and Danielle Harder

9:35-10:35 a.m. Covering child welfare: It's a beat cloaked in secrecy, but these journalists have punched through the bureaucracy to deliver shocking, important and compelling stories. Paula Simons (Postmedia), Ken Jackson (APTN) and Kyle Edwards (Maclean's) tell us what it takes to make a difference here and why more of us should. Murray Oliver, broadcast journalism instructor, will moderate.

10:50-11:50 a.m. The best of open data: Federal, provincial and municipal government open data sites are supposed to promote transparency over secrecy. But do they? CBC journalists Rachel Ward and David McKie will show you that while far from perfect, open data sites can open doors for journalists. You can find original story ideas or valuable context when news breaks. We’ll demonstrate some of the best sites, how they can be mined and what stories have resulted.

10:50-11:50 p.m. With an ever-changing industry, smaller newsrooms and the advent of sponsored copy, public trust is important, perhaps more than ever. Ethics are key to maintaining that trust, but where are the lines? What if you disagree with your editor or producer? This interactive session will look at some of the issues journalists are facing and discuss strategies on how best to deal with them. Led by Dale Bass and Karyn Pugliese

10:50-11:50 a.m. Structure in longform feature writing with Jana Pruden: So you've done your research, you have your characters and your scenes, what do you do next? How do you identify and choose the right structure for your piece? How can you adapt classic structures to your needs? How do you build and release tension through structure? What are some innovative structures you can try? A roadmap to your personal longform roadmap.

12:50-1:55 p.m. Katie Benner, a justice reporter for The New York Times whose coverage of sexual misconduct in Silicon Valley forced the resignation of a major venture capitalist, will round out the keynotes on Saturday.

2:00-3:00 p.m. Diversity in the newsroom: The people who do the hiring at CTV News, CBC Radio, the Toronto Sun and Huffington Post Canada will tell delegates how they’re making their newsrooms asdiverse as possible–and elaborate on the challenges they face along the way. With Lis Travers (CTV News General Manager), Seema Patel (CBC Radio Director of Network Talk), Adrienne Batra (Toronto Sun), Andree Lau (HuffPost). Moderator: Shree Paradkar (Toronto Star).

2:00-3:00 p.m. Mastering the investigative interview: Journalists too often think all we need is a lot of research and a few pointed queries. But the politicians, businesspeople and PR flacks we interview are experts at jumping on the smallest opening we give them, the tiniest mistake in formulating a question. It’s not just about getting the facts out—it’s about how to dramatically rethink the way you approach interviews, how to master the basic rules of tough interviews, and then learn how to break them when needed. This session is led by Julian Sher, an award-winning investigative journalist in TV, print, radio and on the web. He is the senior producer of CBC's the fifth estate, a veteran TV documentary writer and director, as well as an accomplished newsroom trainer and the author of six widely acclaimed books.

2:00-3:00 p.m. The VJ: Shoot. Report. Kick Ass. Trina Roache, a journalist-of-all-trades at the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network, will tell delegates how to be a videojournalist on a shoestring when there’s no other reporter or editor in sight. Moderated by APTN’s Holly Moore.

2:00-3:00 p.m. Journalist Security: A Constitutional Crisis: Journalism, Orwell wrote, is publishing what someone else doesn't want published. All the rest is public relations. But mass surveillance and targeted hacking make it easy for spies, cops and gangsters to shut down reporting they don't like. Without the press to serve as the fourth estate, democracy withers and dies. How are we to defend ourselves? Our profession? Our political liberty? Security expert J.M. Porup leads this provocative and eminently useful session.

3:05-4:05 p.m. ATIP workshop with Rob Cribb: Navigating the bizarre alter-world of government access to information: We engage in a collective brainstorming on how to get around the roadblocks raised by civil servants charged with undermining public transparency and openness. Please bring stories of government intransigence and specific request language so we can share wisdom on best practices.

3:05-4:05 p.m. How Canada covers the world: What are Canadians reading about international development in Canadian newspapers? Who's reporting in the field, which sources are most popular, and why? A study commissioned by Aga Khan Foundation Canada digs into the data. With Colette Brin, Rachel Pulfer, Rob Steiner, and Kathy Mueller.

3:05-4:05 p.m. Our Risky Business: Direct Trauma, Vicarious Trauma and Moral Injury: First there was PTSD, resulting from direct, life-threatening experience. Then came “second-hand” vicarious trauma. Now there’s the added concept of moral injury - damage done to a person's “moral compass”. As we get a better understanding of the psychological risks journalists face in their work, what’s the outlook for improving resilience and recovery? With Dr. Anthony Feinstein, Mary Ann Baynton and Michelle Shephard. Moderated by Cliff Lonsdale. 

3:05-4:05 p.m. Not another PDF?! Unlocking imprisoned data: PDFs are the bane of data journalists; they may look like data, but can’t be imported into spreadsheet or database programs. Attempts to save them as text result in a garbled mess, or nothing at all. Reena Cruz of #CAJ18 sponsor Investintech Inc. will explore the benefits of the company's online PDF data extraction platform and how journalists can use it to go smoothly from an unreadable PDF file to story-ready data. Monthly subscription accounts are available for free to all CAJ journalists as part of their membership. It is not mandatory to have one to attend the workshop and follow along with the demo.   

4:10-5:10 p.m. A beginner’s guide to web scraping: Some data isn’t available in any kind of downloadable file. In this practical, hands-on session led by Fred Vallance-Jones of King’s College and Rachel Ward of CBC News in Calgary, you’ll learn how you can scrape data from websites without any coding. Participants in this session will need a laptop with the Google Chrome browser installed.

4:10-5:10 p.m. $50 million: In its recent budget, the federal government pledged $50 million over the next five years to help support local journalism. Despite making this commitment, few details were included on how the money will flow to local news organizations. This session is an interactive discussion between journalists, publishers and policy experts to develop a plan that will maximize the impact of the federal funds. Professor April Lindgren, from Ryerson University, will animate the discussion. Conference participants are encouraged to come with ideas.

5:30-6:30 p.m. President's reception.

6:30-10:00 p.m. CAJ Awards gala: hosted by Ginella Massa. Join us as we toast the best work in Canadian journalism in 2017. See the list of finalists here!