Tuesday, 3 July 2012

EPB coverage in the PJ

Over recent weeks a lot of people have expressed a degree of concern over the PJ. These concerns seem to revolve mostly around its diminishing number of pages and the fact that it appears to be printed on Izal these days (incidentally - Izal is great for cleaning flutes). 

I'm afraid the PJ didn't get off to the greatest of starts with the new board, mainly because there was scant coverage of the election results. The Editor claimed that it had "slipped her mind" but this really didn't wash because the Editorial in the post-election edition bemoaned the low election turnout. You can't have it both ways! 

Now, could it be that the low turnout is partly due to the fact that the PJ rarely seems to report anything that goes on at EPB meetings? There used to be quite detailed accounts of the old RPSGB Council meetings and, if you were desperate for more, you could always read the transcripts online.  There are no longer transcripts of meetings and no PJ reports so, despite the improved openness of the meetings (I was horrified when I attended a meeting as an observer in 2001 only to find that a lot of the business was not open) the information flowing to the members is greatly reduced. 

All I do know is that the lack of reporting is blamed on the reduced number of staff and that the PJ were only in attendance for the first hour of the Board meeting (covering the elections). The reason for the low attendance was because the Pharmaceutical Care Awards were being held later that  day. I was a little surprised that the Awards had even been arranged for the same day as the inaugural meeting of the new Board, especially as the RPS is a joint sponsor and I began to wonder why no one seemed to keep a diary! 

Later that day I became even more annoyed because I attended the awards and realised that there were six members of Pharmaceutical Press staff present at a time when we had been told how stretched they all were.....

But this is an aside really because the $64,000 question is to ask whether RPS Members actually want to know what the Boards are doing on their behalf or whether they want a more clinical focus. I think the cover story in the post election edition was itchy skin - at a time when many Board Members were itching to see their success reported.

I am sure that in time this will be resolved but it will be useful to have a heads up about what RPS members think of the PJ. I can recall the days when the front cover was all print and the most interesting read was the quarterly toxicology report! It has improved immensely over the 30 plus years I have been on the register but, in its current state, is it fit for purpose?

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