Guild membership cards will no longer be issued after feedback from members revealed they have not been using them in recent years.
The decision to stop producing the card, which include each member’s details and photograph but is not an official press card, was unanimously approved at a Council meeting last week.
“The feeling amongst Council members was that membership cards no longer serve a purpose and that, given the significant costs involved in producing them, could not be justified,” explains Guild secretary Clemmie Gleeson. “However, if any members feel differently, please let me know as soon as possible.”
An alternative is the IFAJ press card which is recognised by agricultural institutes, ministries, shows and events all over the world.
Official press cards are issued by one of the 17 ‘gatekeepers’ for the UK Press Card Authority, a voluntary scheme for issuing press/media identification to professional news gatherers in the UK.
These national organisations represent journalists and other media personnel (employed or freelance) whose work involves gathering material for editorial publication in all media. The gatekeepers issue cards to their members or to those they represent and are responsible for ensuring that conditions for their use are always met. The full list of gatekeepers can be found at the UK Press Card Authority website.
Scottish Guild member Joe Watson, farming editor of the Press & Journal, recommends The Newspaper Society, which charges £15 to supply a card. Full information and contact details are on the society’s website here.