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Membership: Categories

Join AHCJ today!

Group memberships

Call the AHCJ membership coordinator at 573-884-5606 about discounts for newsrooms, college classes or other groups.


Policy guidelines

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

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

  • pitches stories to news media or oversees anyone who does, or

  • writes for an internal newsletter or website that does not seek external viewpoints.

The membership committee makes decisions on applicants that do not fit neatly into the professional, associate or allied categories. There are four questions used to help determine whether you are eligible for membership. The questions are helpful to our membership committee in reviewing applicants.

  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.

Professional membership

  • Journalists employed by newspapers, wire/news services, online news organizations or general circulation magazines without ownership ties to the health industry.

  • Journalists employed by commercial or publicly supported television or radio stations without health care industry ties.

  • Journalists employed by industry trade publications or newsletters without health care industry ties.

  • Full-time faculty in journalism or mass communication degree programs.

  • Freelance journalists who spend at least 50 percent of their time working for independent news organizations, do not pitch stories to other journalists nor work in any media relations role. (NOTE: Freelancers spending most of their time working for organizations mentioned under the Associate category, will be considered for the Associate category.)

Benefits: Professional members are eligible for all rights and benefits.

  • $60 one-year membership
  • $108 two-year membership (Save 10%)
  • $153 three-year membership (Save 15%)


Associate membership

  • Journalists who write or edit for peer-reviewed medical or science journals published by associations or trade groups.

  • Freelance journalists who spend less than 50 percent of their time working for independent news organizations, and who do not pitch stories to other journalists nor have any media relations role.

  • Journalists who, in their primary job, write for or edit for trade group publications with health care industry ties, associations or advocacy organizations, but who do not pitch stories to other writers or oversee others who do.

  • Journalists who write for or edit health company-owned publications or websites (without pitching stories to other journalists nor working in any media relations role.)

  • Journalists, who in their primary job, write for or edit government publications/websites (without pitching stories to other journalists nor working in any media relations role.)

  • Full-time undergraduate and graduate students in journalism or nonjournalism studies.

  • 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.

Benefits: Associate members are eligible for all rights and benefits except voting, running for board and transition assistance.

Associate category journalists & faculty members:

  • $60 one-year membership
  • $108 two-year membership (Save 10%
  • $153 three-year membership (Save 15%)

Retirees / Students

  • $30 one-year membership
  • $54 two-year membership (Save 10%)
  • $76 three-year membership (Save 15%)

Allied membership

  • 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 that focus on health, health care or journalism issues; or nonprofit organizations focused on journalism.

Benefits: Allied members are eligible for all rights and benefits except voting, running for board, transition assistance and posting to the electronic discussion list or freelance directory.

Foundation officials

  • $90 one-year membership
  • $162 two-year membership (Save 10%)
  • $230 three-year membership (Save 15%)

Health care providers

  • $60 one-year membership
  • $108 two-year membership (Save 10%)
  • $153 three-year membership (Save 15%)

International membership

Professional journalists from outside the United States and Canada, who are willing to take all mailings electronically, may sign up for half price.

  • $30 one-year membership
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