The new chair of the MJA is Lawrence McGinty, former science and medical editor for ITV News, who was elected unanimously at the AGM on October 3.
The award-winning journalist and broadcaster said: ‘I’m honoured and delighted. Honoured because recognition from one’s peers is precious and delighted because I’m looking forward to trying to guide a journalists’ association that delightfully describes itself as independent and bloody-minded.’
Lawrence, who took over with immediate effect, added: ‘I’m determined that the MJA should remain vigorously independent and that it should use its freedom of ties to pursue the interests of health journalists.’
His predecessor, freelance journalist and former editor of the Daily Mail Good Health pages, Victoria Lambert, said: ‘It’s great news that Lawrence has agreed to chair the MJA; not only will he be an excellent ambassador for the organisation, but hopefully will encourage a wider membership from broadcast journalism.’
Lawrence joined ITV News as science editor in 1987. In 2000 he was a member of the reporting team covering the Mozambique floods. The team was subsequently awarded an Emmy, the American equivalent of an Oscar, for Best International News Coverage.
Lawrence’s reports have included extensive analytical coverage of the Challenger, Zeebrugge and Chernobyl disasters as well as coverage of many topical medical issues, such as AIDS and the links between CJD and BSE.
His early career was spent in the Department of Control Engineering at Sheffield University (1970-1972), having obtained a degree in Zoology at Liverpool University. In 1973 he became assistant editor of Chemistry in Britain, the monthly magazine of the Royal Chemical Society. From 1974 to 1982 he worked at New Scientist.
News from the AGM
The latest accounts were presented and can be viewed here
Victoria Lambert’s report from the chair can be view here
Both motions on the agenda were carried — Oliver Gillie was presented with a Lifetime Achievement award — and in future, minutes of executive committee meetings will be posed on the Key Documents page, where you will also find other information on the MJA.