BY-LAWS

PREAMBLE

WE, Medical Journalists, dedicated to providing and promoting quality media coverage of health and related issues in Ghana do hereby resolve:  TO FORM THE MEDICAL JOURNALISTS’ ASSOCIATION- GHANA TO BE GOVERNED BY THIS BYLAW.

GENERAL PROVISIONS

ESTABLISHMENT AND NAME

We hereby establish an organization which shall be known as and called The Medical Journalists’ Association- Ghana (MJA-Ghana) on this day the 6th December, 2015.

LEGAL STATUS

MJA-Ghana shall be a non-profit, public and international institution in accordance with public international law.

MJA shall possess full legal personality under the national laws of Ghana.

VISIONS AND MISSION

VISION

We are an organization of medical practitioners and journalists dedicated to providing and promoting quality and accurate health information to improve the lives of people across Ghana.

MISSION

Our goals are:

  1. To improve the quality and quantity of reporting on health issues in Ghana
  2. To advance professional development and raise the profile of health stories in the media
  3. To promote dialogue and understanding between journalists and experts
  4. To encourage journalism that fosters the best possible public health programs and policies
  5. To promote journalism that enables people in Ghana  to make healthy choices when it comes to health

MEMBERSHIP

CATEGORIES OF MEMBERSHIP

There shall be two categories of membership: Organization memberships and Individual memberships

ORGANIZATION MEMBERSHIPS

These are registered organizations or networks of health journalists within the country who apply and are admitted as members of MJA-Ghana.

Organizations who desire to become organization members of this organization shall apply for such membership, be accepted by an affirmative vote of a majority of the Board of Directors and pay any dues imposed by the Board of Directors. (The Board may delegate elements of the approval process to staff or committees). This process applies to all classes of membership.

INDIVIDUAL MEMBERSHIPS

Individual memberships shall be open to individual health journalists who apply directly to the organization.

CLASSES OF MEMBERSHIP

There shall be three classes of membership.

  • Category A
  • Category B
  • Category C

Category A

Eligibility for Allied Membership shall be limited to:

  • Health care providers who have part-time roles writing columns, blogging, broadcasting or otherwise reporting health information to the public through independent or non-independent news organizations. (Full-time health reporters who have health professional licenses could qualify for other categories depending on their employers. In no case can they join if they pitch stories to journalists or oversee others who do).
  • Officials with nonpartisan/nonprofit and independent foundations or nonprofits that focus on health, health care or journalism issues.

 

Category B

Eligibility for Professional Membership shall be limited to:

  • Journalists employed by newspapers, wire/news services, online news organizations or general circulation magazines.
  • Journalists employed by commercial or publicly supported television or radio stations.
  • Journalists employed by industry trade publications or newsletters.
  • Full-time faculty in journalism or mass communication schools, colleges and institutions
  • Freelance journalists who earn at least 50 percent of their income working for independent news organizations. (NOTE: Freelancers spending most of their time working for organizations mentioned under the Associate category will be considered for the Associate category.)

Category C

Eligibility for Associate Membership shall be limited to:

  • Journalists who write or edit for peer-reviewed medical or science journals published by organizations or trade groups.
  • Freelance journalists who earn less than 50 percent of their income working for independent news organizations.
  • Journalists who, in their primary job, write for or edit for trade group publications with health care industry ties, organizations or advocacy organizations.
  • Journalists who write for or edit health company-owned publications or websites.
  • Journalists, who in their primary job, write for or edit government publications/websites.
  • Full-time undergraduate and graduate students in journalism or health programs
  • Full-time faculty in non-journalism degree programs.
  • Retirees who were formerly full-time journalists and who are not now working for another organization or freelancing.

Dues

The Board of Directors shall have the right to determine the dues or other payments to be made by the members of this organization from time to time.

Interest in property

The members of this organization shall not, as such, have any right, title or interest in the real or personal property of this organization.

Resignation

Any member may resign his or her membership at any time by giving written notice to the Executive Director or the Executive Secretary. Such resignation shall not be effective with acceptance on the date of the receipt of such notice unless a later effective date is specified in the notice. Any member who resigns his or her membership shall not be entitled to a refund of any dues or other payments made to this organization.

 

Termination or Suspension

If the Board of Directors deems it to be in the best interests of the organization, that any membership be terminated or suspended by an affirmative vote of at least two-thirds of all members of the  Board of Directors and by providing the member with not less than l5 days written notice of the proposed termination or suspension and the reasons for it, and with an opportunity to be heard, orally or in writing, not less than five days before the effective date of the proposed termination, by a person authorized to decide whether the termination shall take place.

Upon termination or suspension of Membership, the rights of the Member automatically cease to exist with regard to the organization.

 

MEETINGS

The General Assembly

The annual meeting of the General Assembly of this organization for the presentation of reports by the Executive Director on the activities and financial condition of this organization, and the transaction of such other business as may properly come before the meeting, shall be held each year at such time and place within legal seat of the organization, as may be designated by the Board of Directors.

The agenda of the General Assembly is determined by the Board and must contain at least the following items:

  • finding of quorum and calling the meeting to order;
  • adoption of the agenda;
  • consideration and adoption of the minutes of the last General Assembly and of any intervening Special Meetings;
  • presentation of the annual report of the organization;
  • presentation of audited financial statements and report of the auditor;
  • discussion and, if thought fit, approval of the financial statements and report of the auditor;
  • Approval or confirmation of the enactment, repeal or amendment to Bylaws.

Notices

Notice of all Members’ meetings shall be delivered or sent by electronic means to each Member not less than thirty (30) days before the meeting is to take place or shall be mailed to each Member not less than forty-five (45) days before the meeting is to take place; provided that any meetings of Members may be held at any time and place without such notice if all the Members are present thereat or represented by proxy duly appointed, and at such meeting any business may be transacted which the organization at annual or special meetings may transact.

Quorum

A quorum at any meeting of the Organization shall be 1/3rd of the Voting Members including the Chairman of the Board of Directors and the Executive Secretary. If a quorum is present at the opening of a meeting of Members, the Members present may proceed with the business of the meeting.

 

Voting

Unless otherwise required by the Bylaws of the organization, at all meetings of Members every question shall be decided by the majority of the votes cast on the item.

 

Removal

Resignation; vacancies. Any member may be removed with cause by an affirmative vote of at least a majority of all members of the Board of Directors. Any member may resign at any time by giving written notice to the Executive Director or the Executive Secretary. The resignation shall be effective with acceptance when the notice is received by the Executive Director or the Executive Secretary, unless a later effective date is specified in the notice.

Trustee conflicts of interest

This organization shall not enter into any contract or transaction with (a) its executive member or a member of the family of an executive; (b) an executive of a related organization (within the meaning of the  relevant Statutes of  Republic of Ghana or a member of the family of an executive of a related organization; or (c) an organization in or of which this organization’s executive, or a member of the family of its executive, is an executive, officer or legal representative or has a material financial interest; unless the material facts as to the contract or transaction and as to the trustee’s interest are fully disclosed or known to the Executive Board, and the Executive Board authorizes, approves, or ratifies the contract or transaction in good faith by the affirmative vote (without counting the interested executive member) of a majority of the entire Executive Board, at a meeting at which there is a quorum without counting the interested member of the executive. For purposes of these Constitution ‘member of the family of an executive’ shall mean a spouse, parent, child, spouse of a child, brother, sister, or spouse of a brother or sister, of the executive member. Failure to comply with the provisions of this Section shall not invalidate any contract or transaction to which this organization is a party.

 

OFFICERS/ RESPONSIBILITIES (shall be revised)

MISCELLANEOUS

Fiscal year

Unless otherwise fixed by the Board of Directors, the fiscal year of this organization shall begin on July 1 and end on the succeeding June 30.

Corporate seal

This organization shall have a seal.

Electronic communications

A conference among executives, members, or committee members by any means of communication through which such persons may simultaneously hear each other during the conference is a meeting of the members, Board of Directors or committee, as the case may be, if the same notice is given of the conference as would be required for a meeting, and if the number of persons participating in the conference would be sufficient to constitute a quorum at a meeting. Participation in a meeting by that means constitutes presence in person at the meeting.

Amendments

The Board of Directors may amend the Constitution by adopting a resolution setting forth the amendment.

Execution of instruments

All deeds, mortgages, bonds, checks contracts and other instruments pertaining to the business and affairs of this organization shall be approved by the Board of Directors and signed on behalf of this organization by the Executive Director.

 

Deposit of funds

All funds of this organization shall be deposited from time-to-time to the credit of this organization in such banks, trust companies or other depositories as the Executive Board may approve or designate, and all such funds shall be withdrawn only in the manner or manners authorized by the Executive Board from time-to-time.

Privileges and Immunities

MJA, the delegates of MJA’s members, the President of MJA, the Vice President and the Secretariat staff shall enjoy in the territory MJA’s host country such rights, privileges and immunities necessary to enable MJA to operate effectively and efficiently towards the attainment of its mission.

The salaries and emoluments paid by MJA to its officials shall be exempt from host country income tax.

Entry into force

This Constitution was put to effect from the 24th of March 2017.