Resources for journalists: Medical Journalists’ Association
By Phoebe-Jane Boyd
13 Nov 2020
‘We cover issues that really can be life and death, so we feel an enormous responsibility to push back on false claims and conspiracy theories’ – the work of health and medical journalists has perhaps never been more important during our lifetimes. The Medical Journalist’s Association is here to provide support to journalists in the field with access to resources, networking and job opportunities as well as training and career development.
the association shares the big challenges being faced by journalists in its
community, how vital the support of this sector is and what plans are being put
in place for 2021.
are the main challenges journalists in your community are concerned about at
represents more than 400 of the UK’s leading health and medical journalists,
and our members work across a wide range of publications and platforms, in both
staff and freelance roles — so our community faces diverse challenges.
the board, members are being asked to do more, in less time and with fewer
resources. The 24/7 news cycle and voracious demand for online content had
already seen staff journalists having to deal with rolling deadlines — and the
pandemic has added to that pace.
the biggest challenges are a shrinking market for quality journalism and fees
which have shrunk, or not increased, for many years.
cover issues that really can be life and death, so we feel an enormous
responsibility to push back on false claims and conspiracy theories.
Why is the work of the MJA so vital, especially in 2020?
never had greater need for accurate information on health and medicine, and the
MJA provides resources, support and networks to help our members deliver it.
drug and vaccine development, and the interplay between lifestyle and health
are becoming increasingly complex, as are the issues around how to fund and
deliver healthcare. Our members play a vital role in communicating these
annual awards celebrate and promote excellence. They encourage editors and
publishers to invest in quality journalism and raise the profiles of finalists
does the association have coming up/planned for 2021?
pandemic has forced us all to do things differently, and one of the big
benefits of this is that we have become a far less London-centric organisation.
We plan to continue and expand our lunch-and-learn webinars and hope to offer
more training and career development opportunities.
there are tough financial times ahead, so we are looking at ways to improve our
sponsorship packages as this income allows us to stage our prestigious awards
and fund events and support throughout the year while continuing to hold down
the cost of membership.
next year’s awards will see us return to the Barber Surgeons’ Hall for a triple
celebration — to cheer the 2020 winners and finalists; find out who has won the
2021 awards; and enjoy getting back to an old normal.
things don’t go to plan, we’ll adapt and offer our members the great support,
friendships and opportunities that we have for more than 59 years.