Monday, 30 January 2012

Freedoms of the Press: the Archives of the Commonwealth Journalist Association

As the Commonwealth Journalists' Association start their conference in Malta today we are pleased to anounce the commencement of a project to catalogue the records of the Association held at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies.

The Commonwealth Journalists’ Association archive comprises 27 archive boxes of material dating from 1979 and the foundation of the Association, until 2003, when the head office of the Association moved to Trinidad and Tobago.The Commonwealth Journalists’ Association (CJA), was formed in 1981 by Derek Ingram, then Editor of the Gemini News Service, and Patrick Keatley, Diplomatic and Commonwealth Correspondent of the Guardian, following a Commonwealth Headfs of Government meeting in Nova Scotia. 

As well as bringing journalists together from across the Commonwealth, the CJA had two main focuses: training of journalists in developing nations; and the promotion of freedom of the press and an independent press across the Commonwealth. The two objects were, of course, linked, and early work on the files relating to training in Uganda for example provide much evidence on the lack of freedom or independence of the press at the time.

We are very grateful for the financial support of the Scott Trust Charitable Foundation and SHeLF, the Friends of Senate House Library, who have enabled this work. A one day conference will take place later in the year to launch the completed catalogue and to explore the themes of human rights and the role of the press, and of freedom and independence of the press.

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