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Minutes of the UK Section's 2009 Annual General Meeting

The meeting was held in the Offices of the European Parliament, Queen Anne’s Gate, London on Tuesday, 9 March 2010


Present: William Horsley (Chairman), Celia Hampton (Secretary), David Barker, Martyn Bond, Roger Broad, Peter Cannon Brookes, John Heffernan, Richard Heller, Paul Hodgson, Margaret Hughes, Nevsal Hughes, Terry Hughes, Dennis Kiley, Firdevs Robinson, David Sells.

Apologies: Michael Springate (Treasurer), David Lennon, Colin Bickler, Jonathan Fryer, Rick Thompson


The meeting approved the Agenda.

Chairman’s Report. The meeting approved the Chairman’s Report, in which he underlined in particular the healthy state of the Section’s membership and ongoing activities, as well as positive movements in the cooperation among the AEJ’s 20-plus national sections.

Our Chairman reported that he had duly represented the Section at a recent Executive Committee meeting in Athens, where an interesting discussion was started about “The Future of Journalism” – details could be read and members' individual contributions made via the international AEJ website,

Members from all sections who agreed (via their section officers) to post their contact details on a “members-only” list of AEJ members across Europe could now register to access the members-only pages of the international website.

The Athens meeting had included the award of the AEJ’s “European Journalism Prize” to Jozsef Martin, a veteran journalist from the Hungarian section. Also, William Horsley had won renewed support from Excom for keeping up the AEJ’s profile and pressure over issues of media freedom at the Council of Europe, especially the Steering Committee on the Media (CDMC), where the AEJ has the right to speak as a “stakeholder” with Observer status

The Chairman thanked Martyn Bond for taking the minutes of the AGM.

Treasurer’s Report. The meeting took note of the Treasurer’s Report, congratulating him on the happy situation whereby, at the end of 2009, the Section had a more than comfortable “cushion” against any unforeseen contingencies. While expressing suitable caution about future expenditure, the meeting agreed that hiring caterers to provide refreshments at lunchtime events, within reasonable limits, is necessary and desirable to make life easier for the Secretary and for the benefit of all.

It was also agreed, after strong interventions from ex-chairman Paul Hodgson and others, that necessary travel and related expenses of the Chairman and Secretary should be fully reimbursed, so that the Section’s officers should no longer be out of pocket as a result of AEJ business. After some discussion the issue of sponsorship was adjourned to a future date when it might be more relevant to a special event such as the AEJ international conference. 




Secretary’s Report. The meeting took note of the Secretary’s Report, congratulating her on the growth of the UK Section’s membership and the success of activities during the year. In particular the meeting expressed its admiration for her work on the website and thanked her for agreeing to continue in the role of website manager, although she was relinquishing the post of Secretary. The meeting unanimously expressed its warm thanks for all Celia’s efficient and friendly work for the Section down the years. 

Several members contributed ideas for ways in which the AEJ might raise its profile in the UK, to advertise its meetings to a wider range of journalists and further strengthen the membership. Firdevs Robinson proposed the use of social media websites, including Facebook, for our professional purposes. Martyn Bond suggested that the London Press Club would be happy to list AEJ events in its circulars to members. Both ideas were to be followed up and explored.

Election of Officers. The meeting elected William Horsley as Chairman, Margaret Hughes as Secretary and Michael Springate as Treasurer for the coming year, by acclamation.

UK Section Procedures. The meeting approved nem con the updated text of the AEJ UK Section’s Procedures (accessible here) with special reference to membership.

Events Director and Website Manager. Members re-confirmed the appointment of David Lennon as Events Director and the role of Celia Hampton as Website Manager.

A.O.B. The meeting expressed its thanks to the outgoing Committee for its past work and achievements, and offered its continuing support to the new Committee in tackling the tasks of the coming year.


Minutes taken by Martyn Bond   

London, 9 March 2010   





Chairman's report

Secretary's report to the AGM

Secretary's report on the UK Section's activities for the AEJ Congress