President's Update October 2014
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