The MJA Annual General Meeting is on Thursday 27 September 2018. You can find out all the details on the venue/timings and most importantly RSVP via our events page. To reward those that commit to attending and to supporting the work of the MJA a £15 M&S voucher will be provided to the first 20 full or honorary members to RSVP and attend.
This year the aim is to keep the formal business to an absolute minimum – approx 15 minutes, with then time for drinking, eating, networking and a broad and free discussion on how best the MJA can serve its members.
View the Agenda and papers for the AGM
Don’t forget to RSVP and be in with a chance of winning a voucher!
Join the discussion 5 Comments
For the 25 or so members who managed to attend the AGM last Thursday evening (Sept 27), there was a lively discussion on the need for more MJA events to fulfil its educational role, which seems to have been rather neglected lately. Although we all appreciate that committee members give up their time freely, and that events such as the MJA Awards and the Christmas quiz take a lot of time and effort to organise, some of us felt that the real educational, informative and topical events which used to form the core of the MJA’s activities, have been virtually absent over the last year or two – why?
“Virtual” may be the key word, as an online community is fine and works well up to a point, but as most older health and medical journos know, nothing can replace face-to-face meetings where experts in their field give us a personal insight into their work, with a chance to ask them questions informally afterwards – I wonder if younger (under 30 or 35?) journos have the same view, or whether they really think they can find all the info they need for stories from emailed press releases, websites and social media, which everybody else usually receives?
Nicola Hill and I both think that the MJA might make the best use of its resources by having a paid post, using some of the MJA’s healthy annual surplus – or incorporating the role into an existing post – where an ‘events planner’ would take responsibilty for organising 5-6 events a year, with ideas from other MJA members channelled through them, and with input from ‘co-opted’ members, as Jane S mentioned at the AGM. We need to be more active in this area or the MJA risks becoming merely a ‘virtual’ social network, which only gathers for an awards ceremony and a Christmas bash twice a year, and allows the varied talents and abilities of members to remain untapped.
As I mentioned at the AGM, I’ve got an event I’m interested in helping to organise, so I’ll be liaising with the committee about that, and maybe others could do the same in the short-term until we have a long-term strategy in place. It would be a shame if a ‘virtual community’ becomes the only visible presence of the MJA throughout most of the year, as that’s quite a limited vision for the MJA.
Sign me up!
Just been to an interesting well-attended meeting organised by HealthWatch and last week went to Guild of Health Writers third I think meeting this year, another cracker- both I think organised by members who wanted to share fantastic contacts raising interesting issues. Can I add my voice to Paul’s request for MJA to organise meetings for its members – except that I don’t see need to appoint someone to organise meetings for us. Late and much missed David Delvin organised superb meetings using his contacts and those of others in the mJA, while working as journalist and dr as I recall when I first joined MJA, and others followed. It’s a great shame MJA now only has posh PR-style events
Thanks for your valuable insights and input at the AGM. The EC is, indeed, very conscious of the need for more MJA events and meetings. We were already working on another Freelance Forum style meeting and thanks to some fantastic suggestions from the floor from yourself, Mary Black and other members, we are now buzzing with ideas.
I think you’re right that it would help to have a dedicated events secretary, and this possibility had already been discussed at the previous EC meeting. Talks are already underway, so watch this space.
And hi Jane,
Yes, we value input and suggestions from members, and it was a pity you missed the AGM, as there was — as Paul points out — a very lively and fruitful discussion and we already have a number of suggestions for what should be really useful events.
But the EC is also conscious of the need to deliver value to members, and as some past events have not been well attended we will shortly be sending out a members’ survey to glean feedback on what sorts of meetings you would like. So, please look out for updates via email and/or the website.
Good to hear that there are some new ideas for events coming through. Regarding the proposed survey of MJA members, I’m not sure another one of these would be that helpful – there have been quite a few in the past. As Nicola pointed out at the AGM, younger members don’t seem as keen to attend events – or the AGM – and we may just have to accept that it will usually be older members who attend meetings, and who like to hear expert speakers first-hand, and ask questions face-to-face, rather than relying on emailed press releases and social media – if younger members don’t want to attend events, that’s their loss, and we can always open up events to Guild members to boost numbers, as the MJA has done before.
Also, as I suggested at the AGM, we could ask members to pay a small charge (eg 10 quid) for events, which may require an MJA rule change, to contribute to running costs, which I think most members would be happy to pay.