The Canadian Journalism Project web page reports that the Canadian Association of Journalists has virtually shut down its Montreal chapter.
In an Aug. 11 meeting, the executive committee of the Canadian Association of Journalists’ (CAJ) Montreal Chapter discussed a number of issues then voted to disband the executive committee immediately. As it stands now, the executive committee of the CAJ’s Montreal chapter is disbanded — but that doesn’t mean the chapter is necessarily closed.
“Certainly if there were a group of members what wished to gather in the Montreal area and hold another organizational meeting and select a new executive, under our bylaws, that would all be acceptable. In fact, we would encourage that,” says CAJ president Hugo Rodrigues.
The minutes of the Aug. 11 meeting give an idea of what happened. They are written in French and when translated into English using Google Translate, become somewhat convoluted. Rodrigues explains that a member of the executive put forward “a number of different opinions” on the chapter’s relationship with the association at large and with Rodrigues himself.
This is not the first time the local chapter has taken issue with the association. In August of last year, Roger-Luc Chayer — the president of the Montreal chapter at the time — resigned, partly blaming a CAJ press release responding to the issue of the “professional journalist” in Quebec.
You are not alone if you cannot follow that story.
The moral seems to be that organizing journalists is like herding cats unless it involves a union that deals with money and workplace issues.
In the old days there were press clubs and people hashed this stuff out over a beer. But, hey, it isn't the old days anymore! -- ED.