President, Canadian Journalists for Free Expression
Arnold Amber is the long-time President of Canadian Journalists for Free Expression (CJFE) which supports media rights and free expression in Canada and around the globe. Since 1992 CJFE has also managed the daily activities of IFEX, the world’s largest network of free expression advocates with more than 80 member organizations around the world.
Amber’s background is in political studies and he has an extensive journalist career covering politics and the electoral processes in Canada and 9 other countries. His foreign career includes several years as a staff correspondent for Reuters news agency in Africa and Europe, multiple contributions to a number of leading international newspapers, broadcasters and magazines, and international assignments as a media trainer.
His most complex and rewarding foreign training mission was in 1994 when Amber headed a five-country international team which directed South Africa’s national public broadcaster in its coverage of the country’s dramatic first ever democratic elections.
Much of Amber’s journalist career was spent at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation where, as an Executive Producer with the television news department, he won the national Gemini Award for producing the best television news special programme of the year on three different occasions.
His last two television assignments at the CBC were as the Executive Producer of the programme Inside Media, and of Newsworld International, the CBC’s former 24 hour, seven days a week all-news channel which was aired in the United States, Mexico, and the Caribbean.
Academically, Amber was granted a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Ottawa and a Masters degree in political studies from Queen’s University. He taught part time in the fields of social and political science at Queen’s University and at Glendon College, York University. He has also guest lectured at a number of other universities and has contributed to books on African politics and on televised election debates.
Between 2006 and 2011 he was the Director of CWA-SCA Canada, a union which represents thousands of employees at more than 30 newspapers, news agencies, and broadcasters across Canada. He also served for six years on the executive of the International Federation of Journalists and in 2009/10 was a member of the IFJ’s select committee which examined transition issues facing traditional media around the world and whose work led to the publication of Journalism: Unions in Touch with the Future.
Amber presently is an associate of Ryerson University’s Centre for Labour Management Relations where he organized a major conference late last year on the myriad challenges facing precarious workers in the media, cultural and communication industries.