Commonwealth Journalists Association

Scope and Content

The collection comprises papers relating to training courses and workshops run by the CJA for journalists in Africa, the Pacific, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Malta, Malaysia, Cyprus, Belize, Hong Kong and the Caribbean with supporting correspondence with various organisations including the Commonwealth Secretariat, The Commonwealth Relations Trust, The Commonwealth Foundation, The Thomson Foundation, the University of Western Ontario and the Commonwealth Press Union including details of arrangements for courses and instructors and requests for funding and video and audiotapes tapes featuring conferences, a sub-editors course and a skills updating course; correspondence with organisations such as The Commonwealth Foundation and the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative and general correspondence regarding issues such as fundraising, operational costs, Commonwealth Foundation and Nuffield Press fellowships, freedom of the press and the withdrawal of government funding for the Commonwealth Institute; conference papers including speeches, transcriptions of audiotapes, records of sessions and arrangements for travel, accommodation and expenses; minutes and agenda for meetings of the Executive Committee, the London Management Committee, the Training Committee, the Steering Committee, the Finance and Membership Committee and various conference committees; membership correspondence, application forms and subscription details (SOME OF THESE RECORDS ARE CLOSED); the CJA "Newsletter" including correspondence and articles for inclusion; information about the formation of an organisation for Commonwealth journalists and correspondence regarding travel bursaries awarded by the Commonwealth Relations Trust and the CJA.

Administrative / Biographical History

The Commonwealth Journalists' Association was founded by a group of journalists in 1978 following a conference of Commonwealth non-governmental organisations held at Dalhousie University, Nova Scotia, Canada, to cater for the needs of individual journalists in Commonwealth countries. The CJA's objectives include the raising of journalistic standards by the provision of training courses, the encouragement of an interest in and knowledge of Commonwealth affairs and the defence of the independence of journalists where a threat is perceived. The CJA takes a particular interest in safeguarding the rights of journalists in countries where press freedom is restricted and has intervened on several occasions, sometimes in collaboration with other interested bodies, to secure the re-opening of a newspaper or the release of journalists from prison. The CJA's main activity is the provision of training courses for journalists in developing countries. Other activities include holding conferences, open to the whole membership, every three years. Where there is sufficiently large individual membership in a given country or region members are encouraged to set up local branches or chapters to organise their own activities and, where possible, organise their own training. A newsletter devoted to subjects of professional interest is published and distributed to members three times yearly.


1. Training Courses and Workshops. 2. Correspondence. 3. Conferences. 4. Minutes and Agenda. 5. CJA Membership. 6. Commonwealth Journalists' Association "Newsletter". 7. Commonwealth Journalists' Association Formation. 8. Commonwealth Relations Trust/Commonwealth Journalists' Association Travel Bursary Awards.

Access Information

Open except for records restricted under the Data Protection Act or the Freedom of Information Act. Please contact the University Archivist for details. At least 24 hours notice is required for research visits.

Acquisition Information

First accession 2004, second accession, Jan 2008.

Other Finding Aids

Catalogued to file level (see link to repository catalogue).

Archivist's Note

Entry compiled by Sarah Drewery.

Conditions Governing Use

Copies may be made, subject to the condition of the original. Copying must be undertaken by the Special Collections Reading Room staff, who will need a minimum of 24 hours to process requests.