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2020 IN REVIEW: A LETTER FROM CAJ PRESIDENT BRENT JOLLY

Dear CAJ members,

On behalf of the CAJ’s board of directors, I’d like to wish all of you a warm and spirited season’s greetings! 

2020 has been a year that has tested the physical and mental limits of journalists across Canada, and, indeed, the world. In the span of 12 hellacious months, we’ve been forced to adapt to new work environments and reporting routines. We’ve had to work harder in the wake of COVID-related layoffs and the slashing of freelance budgets. And, perhaps most important of all, we’ve begun to take action to combat the many systemic inequalities that have, for too long, existed in our industry.  

Through these – and other – challenges, Canadian journalists have demonstrated remarkable resilience. From covering the pandemic’s impact on society’s most vulnerable, to pushing back against increasingly secretive governments and public agencies, your collective determination to strengthen the public’s right to know during these times of incredible adversity has truly been inspiring. 

And while 2020 is, mercifully, almost at its close, I’m incredibly proud of the many hallmark moments we’ve accomplished this year. A handful of these highlights include: 

These achievements would not be possible without the unwavering support of an incredibly dedicated team. Each of our directors have donated countless volunteer hours to ensure that you, our members, are supported. A huge debt of thanks also goes out to Kathleen Speckert, the CAJ’s administrator extraordinaire, for keeping our humble board organized! 

Before officially bidding adieu to 2020, we hope you will join us tomorrow evening for a special holiday event Hindsight 2020: It’s finally over (click this link to register). There’ll be trivia, prizes, drinks (BYOB), and general merriment. It promises to be the perfect opportunity to both share good tidings and cheer and to say “to hell with this year”!   

As the calendar soon turns to 2021, the CAJ would also like to take the opportunity to remember some of the fine colleagues we lost during the past year. Although this is not an exhaustive list, we wanted to memorialize those who dedicated their lives to bringing important stories to Canadians from coast to coast to coast. They will all be missed. 

It is an immense privilege to serve as your president. I can promise you that the CAJ will continue to do everything in our collective power to stand up for the interests of our community. If you ever need assistance, please reach out. I’m always only a call, text, Twitter DM, or email away

Thank you for continuing to believe in the importance of journalism and for shouldering the important responsibility of telling impactful stories during this most tumultuous year. 

At your behest, 

Brent Jolly 

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