The CAJ offers two base categories of membership:

  • Regular membership (Bylaw definition of Class A membership)
  • Associate membership (Bylaw definition of Class B membership)

The information below provides a more detailed description of these two categories of membership as well as the process by which membership applications are reviewed and approved or declined.

Regular Membership (Class A)

Only regular members are eligible to:

  1. purchase membership cards
  2. vote in CAJ meetings and/or run for elected positions on chapter executives or the CAJ board of directors.

All other membership categories are non-voting.

The CAJ has an interest in ensuring those people who register as members meet the definitions of membership as defined under “Class A member” in section 10 of its bylaws, which may be amended from time to time. Currently, that section reads, in part:

Class A members of the corporation shall be individuals who, as determined by the board of directors of the corporation, are Canadian, or work in Canada, or work for Canadian-owned media, and:

  • whose salary comes principally from, or time goes principally into, journalism, or;
  • are managers of media enterprises or;
  • are teachers of journalism at a recognized post-secondary program or;
  • are students enrolled in a recognized post-secondary journalism program or who work in the student media on a regular basis during the academic year.

Associate Membership (Class B)

Associate memberships are non-voting and associate members are not eligible to purchase membership cards. Associate memberships are available to all those who:

  • are part-time journalists or who otherwise do not yet meet the criteria for regular membership
  • are non-journalists who work in the journalism industry and wish to support the CAJ’s work through associate membership
  • are retired journalists
  • are joint CAJ-NCM (New Canadian Media) members

Membership Verification Process

Section 1: Cursory verification upon application for membership

When an individual applies for membership via the CAJ’s web-based application, members of the CAJ team will undertake the following steps as a cursory check of eligibility for membership:

  1. The CAJ will conduct a cursory check of the member’s submitted information, as submitted, on various common search engines and social media sites.
    1. Should this search determine that the registrant meets the criteria for regular membership, the application will be approved without the need to notify the applicant other than to send them a “Welcome” email indicating that their membership has been approved.
    2. Information showing the applicant’s activity dated within the past 12-24 months shall be considered as current to meet the provisions of regular membership.
  2. Should this cursory check not show the person as meeting the criteria or be inconclusive, the record of the applicant will be forwarded to the membership committee chair (or designate) for follow-up.
    1. The CAJ shall contact the applicant by email with a standard message explaining a cursory check could not determine that the applicant meets the eligibility criteria for regular membership. The applicant will be provided with at least 10 business days to show they meet the eligibility criteria.
    2. Once this new information has been shown, to the satisfaction of the membership committee chair (or designate), to meet eligibility criteria, the applicant’s membership will be approved.
    3. If the applicant does not respond to the requests for additional information within 10 business days, the CAJ shall decline the membership application and refund the membership dues using the same method of payment.
  3. The membership committee chair (or designate) has the ability to confer with any member(s) of the membership committee regarding the application referred to them in Section 1.2 prior to reaching a decision.
  4. An applicant deemed ineligible for regular membership retains the right to re-apply when they meet the eligibility criteria. The applicant is also encouraged to consider associate membership.

Section 2: Review of a decision under Section 1

If an applicant is not satisfied with the decision of the membership committee chair (or delegate) made under Section 1.2 or 1.3, they may request a review of that decision.

  1. The review shall be conducted by a minimum of three members of the CAJ executive, none of whom were involved in the original decision.
    1. The CAJ president shall participate in all reviews.
  2. The reviewers can, at their discretion, review any of the information submitted by the applicant, communicate directly with the applicant to seek additional information and/or request relevant rationale from the membership committee chair (or delegate) who ruled the applicant as not meeting criteria for regular membership.
  3. The decision of the reviewers shall be final and not subject to any other review or appeal.

Approved by the CAJ board: June 10, 2012; amended to reflect re-numbering of bylaw section in 2017; amended to reflect updated terms of “applicant,” “regular membership,” and “membership committee,” and to reflect changes in the application process in 2022.