Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How was CJFE started?

  2. CJFE was created in response to the large scale killings and kidnappings of journalists in Latin America in the late 1970s. Read more about our history here.
  3. How is CJFE run?

  4. CJFE is a non-profit, non-governmental organization, based in Toronto, Canada. We are a member-based organization with a 15-person Board of Directors.
  5. Can anyone join CJFE or is it just for journalists?

  6. Everyone who supports free expression is welcome to join or support CJFE, regardless of their profession. Many of our members are journalists, but others are lawyers, teachers, students and others from all walks of life.
  7. What do I get for joining CJFE?

  • • Becoming an integral part of our constant fight to defend free expression rights and press freedom in Canada and abroad
  • • The right to attend and vote at CJFE's Annual General Meeting (AGM), where Board members are elected and important decisions are made about campaigns, policy and CJFE's strategic direction
  • • Free access our post-AGM event. Last year's event focused on the muzzling of scientists in Canada, and this year's panel focused on government surveillance
  • • Access to the CJFE newsletter
  • • Earlybird access to tickets for CJFE's annual Gala
  • • First access to copies of our annual Review of Free Expression in Canada
  • What does my membership fee or donation free pay for?

  • Both membership fees and donations directly support our programs and advocacy work, and help to cover the costs of paying our CJFE staff.* Here are just a few examples of the work that your money will support:
    • • Since the unjust arrest of Al Jazeera English journalist Mohamed Fahmy and his colleagues in December 2013, CJFE has taken the lead campaigning for their release
    • • Last year, CJFE successfully defeated Bill C-461, which would have required the CBC to disclose its confidential sources to government, effectively destroying its ability to conduct investigative journalism
    • • CJFE continues to flight for anti-SLAPP legislation and for reform of Canada's dismal access to information and whistleblower protection systems
    • • Our Review of Free Expression in Canada shines a light on the state of our rights each year
    • • Our website, the go-to resource for free expression issues in Canada
    • Journalists in Distress, a fund that provides humanitarian assistance to journalists whose lives and well being are threatened in the field
    This past year, the Journalists in Distress fund helped pay to return the body of a Canadian photojournalist killed in Syria back to Canada, paid for the emergency surgery of an Afghani journalist who was attacked because of his work, and subsidized the legal costs of a Macedonian reporter targeted with criminal charges to impede his investigation into the death of a fellow media worker. *We will never squander your money on excessive overhead or administration costs — CJFE is an extremely lean organization that keeps staff at a minimum, relies heavily on volunteers, and does everything to maximize the amount of resources going directly toward our work.
  • How much does membership cost?

  • $100 for standard membership.
  • Are there discounted rates?

  • Yes. Students pay only $25 for full memberships with all rights and benefits. Recent graduates pay just $50.
  • How long does my membership last?

  • Memberships are renewed on an annual basis.
  • Do I get a tax receipt for membership fees or donations?

  • Unfortunately, Canadian law prohibits using funds donated through a charity for advocacy work. As we exist to fight for free expression, which inherently involves advocacy, we cannot issue tax receipts for membership or donations.
  • What is the difference between becoming member and making a donation?

    • • Members are entitled to vote at CJFE's Annual General Meeting, and access the benefits of membership listed above.
    • • Donors give us their valuable support, but without those additional benefits and voting rights.
  • How much or little can I donate?

  • Every little bit helps! We have no maximum or minimum donation requirements.
  • Can I set up monthly or annual donations automatically?

  • Yes, and you can also set up membership to renew annually when filling out our membership form.
  • Can I allocate my donation to a specific program?

  • Although we occasionally fundraise for specific projects and programs, donations and membership fees go into the general fund that covers all our work. This gives us the flexibility to respond rapidly to issues and events as they arise.
    Have other questions? Feel free to email us at [email protected]

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