The Confederation of ASEAN Journalists (CAJ) is one of the oldest and most active regional media organizations in Southeast Asia. It was established as a forum for cooperation among ASEAN journalists in 1975, eight years after the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) was set up.
During those days, while countries in the region were neighbours, their understanding and knowledge of each other was still limited. CAJ, therefore, was conceived to play the role of a communicator to help people understand the diversity of region and forge regional cooperation. Leading journalists from the five ASEAN countries at the time met in Jakarta in March, 1975 to found CAJ. Since then CAJ has played a significant role in serving as a bridge that brings together peoples of diverse historical and cultural backgrounds in the ASEAN countries.
As ASEAN evolved and expanded, so has the membership of CAJ, which now comprises Persatuan Wartawan Indonesia (PWI), National Union of Journalists Malaysia (NUJM), National Press Club of the Philippines (NPC), Singapore National Union of Journalists (SNUJ), Confederation of Thai Journalists (CTJ). Vietnam Journalists Association (VJA), and Laos Journalists Association (LJA) and Club of Cambodian Journalists (CCJ). Myanmar Journalists Association (MJA) is in the process of joining CAJ as the latest member.
One of the primary objectives of CAJ is the promotion of a healthy, free and responsible press which is crucial to national development. The objective has become more relevant in the age of fast-changing world of information these days and as ASEAN has become ASEAN Community.
As member countries of ASEAN work to nurture the common spirit of “unity in diversity” the need for closer relations among ASEAN journalists is becoming even more crucial. CAJ, therefore, serves as an important channel of communication and cooperation among ASEAN journalists in helping promote better understanding among peoples in the region.
The Confederation of Thai Journalists (CTJ) currently holds the presidency of CAJ which rotates among its members every two years.