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Created on Monday, 02 February 2015 12:34
Here is my regular update on the issues discussed at our latest ABSW Board meeting:
Membership of the ABSW
It’s that time of year again when we ask you to renew your membership. Many thanks to those of you who have already renewed. At the end of January we will update our records and send confirmation of membership to you all, and a friendly reminder to those who have yet to pay.
Membership of the ABSW is the sign that you are a serious member of this profession, and lets you connect to other science journalists, writers and communications professionals as well as to events and to training and work opportunities. Nearly 100 new members joined last year. I do hope you will renew your membership, and take an active part in your association this year.
ABSW Board Elections
One way to become more involved is to consider standing for the ABSW Board. Nominations are now open until 23 February for Board membership and for our various officer posts. I have already thrown my hat in the ring to stand for a further term as President. Full details of the posts available, the responsibilities and likely workload are all on the website along with links to the nomination form. So do please consider joining the Board in 2015. You don’t have to be in London for the meetings. We have finally managed to get Skype and other technology for remote participation. http://www.absw.org.uk/about-us/executive-board-election-process-2014.html
Sexism in Science Journalism
Last year the ABSW commissioned research into the issue of sexism in science journalism. The subject was also discussed in the opening plenary session of last year’s UK Conference of Science Journalists. Video, audio and reviews of this session are all available in our UKCSJ archive, http://www.ukcsj.org/edition-2014/sexism-in-science-plenary.html The Board is eagerly awaiting the final report from this research in order to assess what actions might be usefully taken by the ABSW, in conjunction with bodies such as the NUJ, to tackle sexism in science journalism.
Investigative Science Journalism
The Board developed and promoted an Investigative Science Journalism Fellowship scheme last year, and put aside funds to pay for it. So we were disappointed to find that no applications were received. Connie St Louis has been exploring why, and will soon be publishing an article on the issue that will let us promote the more scheme widely. For further details and to apply, please visit the website: http://www.absw.org.uk/news-and-events/absw-news/absw-investigative-science-journalism-fellowship.html
ABSW Summer School
Press Cards for ABSW members
The ABSW is finally making progress towards issuing members with press credentials via one of a number of official issuers. Many of you already have such credentials gained through your employer or the NUJ, but other members have told us that an ABSW card would be extremely valuable to them. I am working with Board member Wendy Grossman and the UK Press Card Authority to determine costs and processes for ABSW members to receive this benefit, and will keep you updated on progress.
Saturday 31 January – membership fees for 2015 should have been paid
Wednesday 11 February – ABSW Science Writers’ Awards for Britain and Ireland open for entry
Monday 23 February - nominations for ABSW Board close
Friday 27 February – nominations close for British candidate for European Science Writer of the Year
Week beginning 2 March 2015 – online voting for contested Board posts commences
Wednesday 18 March - ABSW Science Writers’ Awards for Britain and Ireland close for entry
Thursday 26 March – AGM venue tbc (London)
For more on all these, visit our website www.absw.org.uk. And while there, don’t forget to transplant the ABSW button to your own corner of cyberspace. Even with my html skills, it only took a moment, and it looks great.
President of the ABSW
Created on Thursday, 18 December 2014 12:33
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© Mike Harrison
Created on Monday, 20 October 2014 13:58
Welcome to the first in what I intend to be regular updates on what is happening within your Association.
The ABSW no longer has a regular newsletter and our website, google discussion group (ABSW-L) and twitter and Facebook accounts have taken over the role of the printed Science Reporter as the means by which we communicate with members.
However at the last meeting of the Board it was suggested that I should be letting members know of the Board’s activities and that this might best be done by direct contact through our direct mailing list. So here goes…
New Board Member
Say hello to your latest Board member, Joshua Howgego, deputy news and opinions editor, SciDev.Net, who was co-opted to the Board at our meeting in September. At our elections in March we did not fill all the vacant places on the Board so we were delighted that Joshua put himself forward to in his words, ‘represent the interests of early career journalists, especially in the not-for-profit sector.’
The Creators' Rights Alliance brings together the major organisations representing copyright creators and content providers throughout the media.
The CRA campaigns to: Confront growing abuses of creators' rights in all media, particularly newspapers, magazines and broadcasting; defend and improve the intellectual property rights of creators belonging to the member organisations; Promote greater understanding of creators' intellectual property rights within the industry and among the public.
The ABSW is a member of the CRA and is represented on the CRA by ABSW member Mike Harrison.
Mike is in the process of writing an article on the current activities of the CRA for the ABSW website, the article will link to a form that members can use to provide anonymous feedback to Mike on issues they may have with intellectual property rights. Mike will then be able to better reflect the needs of science writers/broadcasters and journalists to the Alliance.
Future activities of the ABSW
The ABSW runs a small programme of events throughout the year. Events this year to date have been the biennial UK Conference of Science Journalists, ABSW Awards Ceremony, the annual late Xmas party, an ABSW Panel debate on Investigative Journalism, and the AGM and post AGM members drinks. Our next event is on Wednesday 29 Octoberas part of the Science Museum Lates, where Professor Sir Mark Walport, the Government Chief Scientific Advisor will be in conversation with ABSW Member and Channel 4 Science Correspondent Tom Clarke.
The Board has been considering how it can better meet the needs of all its members through events. Moves are afoot to extend our reach outside of London to a programme of regional events. We are also looking at the potential for a Summer School type event for students and/or early career science writers and journalists.
To help us programme events that fit your interests and/or needs for skills development there is now a form on the ABSW website for you to feedback your ideas to us. Your idea for an event can be as simple as a title or generalsubject area or can be much more fully formed with ideas for speakers/venues etc. You don’t need to take an active role in organising any event you propose either, although volunteers are always welcome. So do make the most of this new way of letting us know what events you would like to see programmed.
The Awards are now well and truly re-established, and we presented eleven awardsat our Ceremony in June this year. The Awards are financially secure for a further two years as we have now signed an agreement for continued support with Janssen Research and Development. A key part of this agreement is the introduction of a further Award for European Science Writer of the year, more will follow on this new Award but it will enable you to nominate your chosen British Science Writer of the Year to be judged against those nominated by the other science journalism associations throughout Europe.
As the year comes to a close it might also be a good time for you to reflect on your work over the past months in order to choose what you might enter for the Awards in the Spring.
All the best
Martin Ince, President, ABSW
Created on Monday, 14 July 2014 16:53