After nearly a decade, the Canadian Association of Journalists is returning to Halifax for its annual national conference.

By Chantal Braganza, Associate Editor

After nearly a decade, the Canadian Association of Journalists is returning to Halifax for its annual national conference. From June 5 to 6, the industry organization will host panel discussions and workshops on business, ethics and reporting topics, including sessions on crowd-funded journalism and navigating Aboriginal politics in local and national news.

“When you look at some of the folks involved, like Jesse Brown, Craig Silverman and some of the folks involved in the opening plenary, they’re looking at how we do what we do, what we do well, what our weak spots are,” said CAJ president Hugo Rodrigues. 

Or, as conference vice-chair Nick Taylor-Vaisey put it: “These aren’t people musing about this in ivory towers; they’re working in newsrooms and trying to figure it out as they go.”

A number of the events touch on addressing—and effecting—change in how journalism is produced and paid for. The last time the conference was held in Nova Scotia was 2006. This time around, Rodrigues said, the planning committee was keen to include East Coast-specific media issues. One event in the works is a discussion that looks back on the coverage of the 2014 Moncton shootings of RCMP officers.

Pricing for the conference, Rodrigues said, has remained unchanged since last year; attendees \who are also nominees for the CAJ Awards, which will be handed out at the conference, can receive a discount on registration. Another addition to the conference is a partnership with the University of King’s College’s summer data journalism boot camps.

“We’re building data journalism and digital journalism more into the rest of the conference too—and really drilling down into that stuff now in a way we didn’t a few years ago,” said Taylor-Vaisey.

The conference’s full schedule is yet to be announced. A few confirmed highlights include:

  • A panel on turning news stories into book-length projects, with Stephen Kimber, Richard Foot and Chris Benjamin.
  • A discussion on media criticism, with Tim Bousquet and Jesse Brown.
  • A talk with La Presse’s deputy editor-in-chief, Yann Pineau, on the success of La Presse +.
  • A round table on the role of public service journalism in today’s media landscape, with the Toronto Star’s David Bruser and Jayme Poisson, The Coast’s Kyle Shaw and Kim Kierans.

This article has been updated to correct the participants in the media criticism panel.