1. ISTJA’s aims and objectives are:
- To encourage the maintenance and improvement of professional standards in science and technology (S&T) journalism in Ireland.
- To provide a mechanism for the exchange of information on S&T topics.
- To represent the views of members at European level.
- To increase the mutual awareness of S&T developments in Ireland and Europe.
- To encourage the appointment of science and/or technology correspondents/specialists in appropriate media.
- To encourage S&T coverage in appropriate media.
- To engage in any activity that supports the above.
- To qualify for full membership of the ISTJA an applicant
- (a) must be a journalist (staff or freelance) with a proven interest in S&T and producing a continuously significant proportion of their output on S&T-related topics;
- (b) must agree to support the aims and objectives of the ISTJA and to be bound by the rules of the association.
- Associate membership shall be open to journalists who have a proven interest in S&T but whose S&T output amounts to less than half of their total output. Associate members shall not be eligible to hold office in ISTJA. Associate members may apply at any time to become a full member if their circumstances change.
- ISTJA membership fees shall be agreed annually at the AGM. Members who have not paid a membership fee for the year proceeding any AGM shall be deemed to be lapsed. The annual fee covers the calendar year. The deadline for renewal of membership shall be 1 April.
3. Application for Membership
- Applicants meeting the criteria for membership should contact the ISTJA if interested in joining.
- Supporting evidence in the form of published material (print or broadcast) – or in the case of students, an interest in science and technology journalism – will be requested.
- An applicant may be elected to membership by being proposed and seconded by fully paid-up members.
4. Code of Conduct
The ISTJA endorses the National Union of Journalists Code of Conduct.
5. Code of Practice
- The ISTJA accepts invitations to visit companies and institutions deemed to have information, knowledge, products and/or services relevant to the member journalists’ needs. Such access may not be used to further commercial ends expect the publication of news items or articles, for which a publisher (print or broadcast) will pay.
- Members reporting matters in connection with which they have received hospitality (e.g. transport, accommodation) should acknowledge such hospitality in their reports. Acknowledgement on TV may be incorporated in closing credits. Suggested phrases are: attendance at the event was courtesy of; the reporter was a guest of… etc.
- Members doing work for organisations other than media are requested to provide the names of such organisations to the Secretary.
6. Visits Abroad
- When more members express an interest in EUSJA visits than there are places available, nominations for ISTJA participation will be decided by the president and secretary, in consultation with one other member.
- Members who participate in visits abroad as representatives of ISTJA should: produce a written report; attend all functions organised by the host; keep cuttings of material published as a result of the visit and copy them to the host association; and submit an index of publications collected during the visit to the ISTJA secretariat for circulation to all the other members.
- Members who participate in visits abroad organised through ISTJA are required to report on the visit to the next appropriate meeting of the association in person or in writing or have the report deferred to the next meeting.
7. Representation at EUSJA Meetings
ISJTA may only be represented at EUSJA meetings by the national delegate, president, vice-president or a mutually agreed deputy.
RULES, OFFICERSHIPS AND THE CONDUCT OF AGM, EGM AND OTHER MEETINGS
8. ISTJA Rules
- Rules may only be made, changed or repealed at an AGM or EGM.
- These decisions will be made by a simple majority vote of those present at the AGM or EGM
- Proposals for new rules and rule changes or repeals must appear on the AGM or EGM agenda and be circulated to the members in advance of the meeting.
- An AGM shall be held within each calendar year. The date shall be notified to all paid-up members four weeks prior to the AGM.
- The AGM agenda must be circulated to all paid-up members at least seven days prior to the meeting.
- An executive, comprising president, vice-president, secretary, treasurer, national delegate and other officers, as required, shall be elected at the AGM.
- Nominations for officership may be made at or prior to the AGM; the proposer and seconder must be fully paid-up members; agreement of the nominee must be obtained; if made in advance, the names of those nominated must appear on the ballot paper presented at the GM; proposer and seconder must be present at the AGM; the nominee must be a fully paid-up member.
10. Voting at AGM
- Only fully paid-up members attending the AGM may vote.
- The quorum is one quarter of the membership plus one.
- Voting shall be by secret ballot, with a single transferable vote in order of preference. In the case of election of officers, the first person to reach the quota shall be deemed to be elected; in the event of a tie, a second vote will be taken immediately to decide between the tied candidates, on a first-past-the-post basis.
- The order of voting shall be: president, vice president, national delegate, secretary, treasurer, other officers, other committee members (if any) and two auditors.
11. Officers of the association
- After each year in office, the officer must stand down but may offer him/herself for re-election to the same or another position.
- The AGM may decide by a simple majority to add posts to those of president, vice president, national delegate, secretary and treasurer.
- Any casual vacancy may be filled by a simple majority vote at an ordinary meeting adopting AGM election rules.
12. Conduct of ordinary meetings
- Only fully paid-up members in attendance may vote at an ordinary meeting.
- The quorum is five members.
- Voting shall be by a simple show of hands. In the event of a tied vote, the chairperson shall have a casting vote.
The officers may, when they see fit, or if requested by at least one quarter of the members, call an EGM. In the latter case, an EGM shall be held within 30 days of receipt of the request. Notice of an EGM and the agenda shall be given to all paid-up members at least 14 days prior to the EGM.
- The financial year shall run from AGM to AGM.
- All financial undertakings on behalf of ISTJA must have permission of the treasurer.
- The committee may seek and accept monies from any body or individual provided that the conditions specified by the donor do not contravene the aims of the association.
- No cheque may be issued unless it is signed by two authorised signatories from a list of four designated signatories.
- Each year the association’s accounts, prepared by the treasurer and audited by the auditors, shall be circulated to members attending the AGM and be open to comment at that time. They shall be made available to other members on request.
- The auditors, who shall be elected at the AGM, must be fully paid-up members of the association, but they may not hold an officership of the association in the year in when they are acting as auditor. The auditors shall receive, examine and certify the accounts and return them to the treasurer before the AGM.