Membership policy guidelines

Who can join AHCJ

As an organization dedicated to raising the quality of reporting about health care, AHCJ welcomes all journalists who have some role in coverage of this broad topic, whether it’s what you do every day or just occasionally — or expect to do in the future. We also invite full-time university faculty members and undergraduate or graduate students and retired journalists to join, as well as health care professionals who report on health information for the public.

Our members work for online news organizations, newspapers, magazines, radio and TV, medical journals, trade associations, and government and health company publications or websites. They freelance, write books and newsletters, produce podcasts and videos, and teach.

We draw a line, however, between journalism and public relations. We do not allow people to join if they are paid to promote products or causes.

Generally, membership can't be extended to anyone who:

  • works as a public relations professional, whether agency, institutional or government,

  • seeks news coverage from the media or works in media relations, or oversees anyone who does.

The membership committee uses these questions to help determine an applicant’s eligibility:

  1. Do you pitch stories to the media, do media relations or oversee anyone who does?

  2. In the articles you write or edit that appear in your publication, on your website or are aired by your organization, are you limited from seeking out points of view different from those of your organization or from people unaffiliated with your organization?

  3. Is your primary role to create or oversee promotional material for your organization?

  4. Are you a health care provider or do you provide consulting or other paid services to health care companies or advocacy organizations?

If answering "yes" to any of these questions, you will be asked to briefly explain.

Join AHCJ today!