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Mar 24, 2014 - Posted by Tamara Baluja

A J-Source reader asked what he should look for in a freelance contract to make sure it is fair. Rebecca Collard, a Canadian freelance journalist working in the Middle East and North Africa, says understanding the business side of freelancing is sometimes the toughest part of the job and shares her advice. 

Mar 13, 2014 - Posted by Tamara Baluja

A J-Source reader asked for advice covering police, fire and other emergency-related stories. Hugo Rodrigues, the CAJ president, shares his advice for following the story after it hits your scanners. 

Mar 03, 2014 - Posted by Tamara Baluja

A reader from Alberta asks if he should hold out until he’s in his 30s to land a well-paying journalism gig or if he should jump ship now and move onto another industry that pays better and has more job security. CAJ president Hugo Rodrigues responds to this latest Ask a Mentor question.

Feb 14, 2014 - Posted by Tamara Baluja

When Toronto Star reporter Daniel Dale launched his lawsuit against Mayor Rob Ford and said he would continue to report on the city hall beat, a J-Source reader asked if it was acceptable to write about a source you’re suing. Shauna Snow-Capparelli, a member of the CAJ’s national Ethics Advisory Committee, responds. 

Jan 27, 2014 - Posted by Tamara Baluja

A reader asked for advice in determining when something is in the public interest. Canadian Association of Journalists member Jim Bronskill, a Canadian Press reporter, says a guiding principle is to pursue stories that resonate with the public because they hold governments and officials accountable. 

Jan 21, 2014 - Posted by Tamara Baluja

Journalism student Nick Westoll asked for advice speaking to victims of crime or families of victims. Canadian Association of Journalists member Kim Bolan, an experienced crime reporter at the Vancouver Sun responded, saying while talking to family of victims can be daunting, it's a part of your job, so don’t be afraid.

Dec 06, 2013 - Posted by Tamara Baluja

Got a question? The Canadian Association of Journalists will consult its members across the country to find the appropriate expert to craft a response to your question, which will then be posted on J-Source.

Apr 11, 2013 - Posted by Tamara Baluja

Nearing his 45th anniversary at The CBC, Peter Mansbridge explains how he came to be a journalist. 

Mar 15, 2011 - Posted by Dana Lacey

Q: I cover the court beat for a weekly newspaper. Recently, the editor of a competing paper was charged with impaired driving and failure/refusing to provide a breath sample. There has been some debate in the newsroom about whether there is an obligation to cover this or if doing so is more "gotcha" than it is newsworthy. As a court reporter in a small town, I have written about people I know, their family members and even someone connected to my own family. Now I am faced with the question of covering a colleague's trial that could end their job in the community. Do I write the story? Answer by Don Sellar, former Toronto Star ombud.

Jan 18, 2011 - Posted by Dana Lacey
Q: I work in Kenora, where an elder has asked me to help her tell her life story. The parts about living off the land and descriptions of the culture are wonderful. The sections where she's talking about the abuse she suffered at the local residential school are trickier. She doesn't name names, but she does name the school. It'll also be possible to identify individuals in charge. The specifics make her story much more powerful, but she may end up with some legal issues. Any thoughts or advice? Answer by media lawyer Bert Bruser.

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edited by the CANADIAN ASSOCIATION OF JOURNALISTS

Ask a Mentor provides answers to practical questions about the craft. Our mentors will steadily expand this fount of tips, traps and shortcuts on the trail to truth. Submit your question and we'll pass it on to a mentor for answering.