Welcome to the Commonwealth Journalists Association (CJA) new website, our window on the world and a place where journalists from across the Commonwealth can share their experiences, learn from each other, find support and meet as a community.
It is clear to us all that these are not good days for journalists. In too many countries our colleagues are targeted by thugs in the pay of governments or other groups who intimidate or commit violence against journalists in an effort to suppress the truth of their own illegal behavior.
We in the CJA will do our best, and through all means at our disposal, to expose and condemn the brutality of these thugs and their paymasters. The only weapon we have in the fight against violent despots is public exposure and the political pressure that exposure brings to bear. This website will be a major tool in the fight to protect journalists and to create a safe and secure working environment for all of us.
We know too that violence is not the only weapon used against journalists in our Commonwealth. Threats against the economic well being of journalists and their employers are commonplace and deliberately intended to weaken those whose job is to report on government and other powerful institutions. Independent journalism, well-practiced, is essential to the functioning of any democracy. Governments who feel their countries are not being well-served by journalism have options other than intimidation and murder at their disposal.
The CJA, among other like-minded organizations, has a vibrant training program-me that is at the disposal of any journalist in the Commonwealth. I hope, over time, that the CJA website will also become a source of information and inspiration that will help all our journalists keep current with the ever-changing world of communications while simultaneously promoting best practices in our profession. Commonwealth journalists understand that the more we help each other, the more successful we become. The CJA belongs to you and this will be the place we can gather 24-7. I invite all journalists to use this website to share experiences and voice concerns. By working together, we can become strong.