OTTAWA / Dec. 18, 2019 / CNW — When the Star Metro newspaper chain announced its closure and layoffs from Vancouver to Halifax, Canadians rallied behind their journalistics peers. Within a few hours, 100 journalists and journalism supporters raised $2,660 through crowdfunding meant as sympathetic beer money.
The support proved overwhelming—too much for the laid-off journalists to consume. Some of the funds were declined. Jimmy Thomson and H.G. Watson, who led the crowdfunding effort, donated the remaining $611 to the Canadian Association of Journalists (CAJ), with the intention of supporting laid-off or precariously employed journalists.
Since it is not the CAJ’s mandate to fill journalists’ glasses—most reporters do this of their own volition—the not-for-profit organization and crowdfunding leaders have decided on a different use for the money.
The CAJ is pleased to announce the money will go towards access to the 2020 CAJ conference in Montreal for in-need or struggling journalists, with a preference for journalists who live in the region. It will also be the start of a new by-donation CAJ program to help journalists attend future CAJ events. Criteria for the new conference access program will be announced in the new year.
Supporters can donate to the CAJ here (link disabled).
The Canadian Association of Journalists is a professional organization with more than 650 members across Canada. The CAJ’s primary roles are public-interest advocacy work and professional development for its members.
For more information contact:
Karyn Pugliese, CAJ president
Brent Jolly, CAJ vice-president