Debate rages about future (?) of CAJ

Well that started a lively bun toss in media land. The Canadian Association of Journalists sent an open letter to the world through J-Source and other media, noting they are in financial crisis. That set off a firestorm of response, criticism, ideas and complaints from media land that are worth a look in terms of understanding some of the many issues facing journalism today. My favorite is the response from the beleaguered community newspaper guys, working 70 hours a week for peanuts (I share the experience), in which the relevance of CAJ is moot.

J-Source, April 13 2010

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CAJ in crisis: CAJ

An open letter from the  Canadian Journalism Association’s Mary Agnes Welch puts it bluntly: the CAJ is in danger of folding due to a more than one-third drop in membership and a decline in corporate sponsorship. It’s grim reading, but worth it. CJA may find itself in CP’s position; having to reinvent itself and come up with more sources of revenue relating to selling its services.

J-Source, April 6 2010

CAJ warns about decline in numbers of reporters

The Canadian Association of Journalists put out a news release decrying the layoffs sweeping through media right now, particularly newspapers.  In the last three months, 1200 positions have been lost (though not all journalists; it  may include salespeople and support staff.) The numbers have been declining for decades, despite the growth of new media in that time (digital TV channels, all news radio stations, The National Post). Here are the numbers for the Statscan category called journalists, from the last four censuses:

1991: 13,470

1996: 12,660

2001: 12,960

2006: 13,320

What looks like a decline followed by a modest pullback to 1992 numbers is no doubt, after the last three months, the lowest number of working jnournalists in Canada in 15 years.

CAJ, Jan. 5 2009