CAJ, CAJEF to help Canadian media innovate news

OTTAWA, Jan. 5 /CNW/ - The Canadian Association of Journalists and the CAJ Education Foundation are kicking off the decade with a groundbreaking conference where news staff and management can learn about emerging techniques, technologies and models to transform journalism for the 21st century.

The conference focuses on skills, strategies and tactics that news organizations can start implementing immediately. It will be held on Jan. 30 at the MaRS Centre, a major innovation hub a stone's throw from Queen's Park in Toronto.

"If you're a working journalist, senior media manager or executive, you must attend this conference," CAJ and conference chairman Saleem Khan said. "Journalists and news organizations need viable solutions to the real challenges they face today, not technological utopianism or academic speculation about the future of news.

"This conference offers practical and strategic tools to ask the right questions, get the right answers and put them to work," he said.

Journalists at the forefront of innovation and experts in other spheres will share knowledge that can advance news media, including new investigation, newsgathering, storytelling, engagement and operations approaches, technologies and models.

"We have no doubt that anyone who attends this conference will leave with new skills and ideas, a brighter perspective on journalism and a positive outlook on the opportunities available to us today and tomorrow," CAJ president Mary Agnes Welch said.

"There has never been a conference like this in Canada and the CAJEF is excited to lead the way in helping to reinvent journalism here," CAJEF president Robert Cribb said. "This is an important step to ensure that citizens remain educated, engaged and informed about the world, which are essential to a healthy democracy.

"While the conference focuses on journalism and has primary appeal to news professionals, it is open to the public and the speakers, topics, practices and discussions will be of interest to people from all walks of life.

Just a few of the leaders speaking at the conference:

    -   Jim Brady, president, digital strategy, Allbritton
        Communications;former executive editor of
    -   John Cruickshank, publisher, Toronto Star
    -   Michael Lee, chief strategy officer, Rogers
    -   Patrick Lor, president, Fotolia North America
    -   Rachel Nixon, director of digital news, CBC News Online
    -   Kenny Yum, editor,

    The conference is structured in four tracks:
    1. A novice to intermediate track will teach working journalists key
    principles of how and why to use existing and new tools, techniques and
    technologies, including social media such as Twitter and Facebook.
    Journalists will also be able to bolster traditional hard skills such as
    photography and video in sessions for reporters who increasingly work
    concurrently in multiple media on multiple deadlines.
    2. An intermediate to advanced track for journalists already familiar
    with social media, online and computer fundamentals, who wish to build
    upon and apply those skills and knowledge to investigate and tell stories
    in new ways. Sessions will include computer-assisted reporting,
    sophisticated uses and applications of openly available online
    and software tools, visual and data-driven narratives and more.
    3. An executive and senior manager track to help decision makers explore
    and understand strategic issues, news and business models, and to outline
    and demonstrate why and how they can capitalize on transformational
    shifts in media enabled by the Internet.
    4. An "unconference"-style track to tap the knowledge of conference
    delegates and the public at large. The unconference model is a framework
    proven in the technology sector to enable attendees to self-organize,
    discover and engage in deep-knowledge grassroots sessions.

Online registration for the conference will be available this week. The CAJ will issue a notification when registration is open.

The Canadian Association of Journalists is Canada's largest professional organization for journalists from all media, with about 1,100 members across the country. The CAJ's main roles are to provide high-quality professional development for its members and public-interest advocacy.

The CAJ Education Foundation is a federally registered charitable foundation whose purpose is to offer improve general understanding of Canada and its place in the world.

SOURCE Canadian Association of Journalists

For further information: For further information: Chairman, Saleem Khan - (416) 494-0908 or; Mary Agnes Welch, CAJ president, (204) 470-8862 or (204) 783-9417; Executive director, John Dickins, (613) 526-8061; To join the CAJ, please visit:

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