CAJ joins fight against online violence

 

Brent Jolly

The Canadian Association of Journalists is a professional organization with more than 1,000 members across Canada. The CAJ’s primary roles are public-interest advocacy work and professional development for its members. (CNW Group/Canadian Association of Journalists)

The Canadian Association of Journalists (CAJ) is pleased to announce it is joining the Coalition Against Online Violence effective immediately.

As a member of the coalition, the CAJ will work with journalism organizations around the world to identify solutions for the ongoing problem of online abuse and harassment faced, in particular, by female journalists and journalists of colour.

The Coalition Against Online Violence is an ensemble of international organizations, convened by the International Women’s Media Foundation, to find better solutions to addressing digital attacks.

The CAJ is the first Canada-specific journalism organization to be accepted as a member of the coalition.

“Joining this esteemed group of collaborators re-emphasizes the CAJ’s ongoing commitment to its members to effectively translate words into actions that support the safety and security of Canadian journalists, whether they work at large national news organizations, community publications, or as freelancers” said Brent Jolly, CAJ president. “The voices of Canadian journalists need to be heard and their experiences must be acknowledged.”

Over the past month, the CAJ has been dogged in its effort to support members who have received horrifying, repulsive, and hate-filled messages via email and social media.

Among other major efforts, CAJ hosted an industry roundtable, in partnership with Carleton University’s School of Journalism and Communication, to identify what can, or should, be done. A report done in partnership with the Canadian Journalism Foundation on key calls to action will be released later this autumn.

Beyond the roundtable the organization has disseminated the industry-wide survey Online Harm in Journalism Survey, conducted by Ipsos and sponsored by CBC/Radio-Canada. The results of this survey will be revealed at an industry town hall meeting taking place on Nov. 9.

The CAJ will be regularly sharing important information and lessons learned from its involvement in the Coalition Against Online Violence with members via its newsletter.

“Expressions of hate and harassment cannot be taken as isolated incidents,” Jolly said. “As an industry we need to develop tools and support networks, not only to hear and hold the pain, but to provide substantive solutions to serious occupational hazards.”

The coalition is funded by Craig Newmark Philanthropies and founded by the International Women’s Media Foundation. It also receives financial support from the Emerson Collective, the Knight Foundation, and the Luminate Group.

The Canadian Association of Journalists is a professional organization with more than 1,000 members across Canada. The CAJ’s primary roles are public-interest advocacy work and professional development for its members.