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CMAJ earns award nom

The Michener Awards Foundation has nominated the beleaguered Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ) for the linkurl:2005 Michener Award;http://www.michenerawards.ca/english/2005finalists.htm for "meritorious public service journalism." The article that earned the journal their latest nod is the same article at the heart of recent debates over editorial practice at the journal, which has seen the resignations of the majority of editors and editorial board members. The linkurl:inve

By | March 24, 2006

The Michener Awards Foundation has nominated the beleaguered Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ) for the linkurl:2005 Michener Award;http://www.michenerawards.ca/english/2005finalists.htm for "meritorious public service journalism." The article that earned the journal their latest nod is the same article at the heart of recent debates over editorial practice at the journal, which has seen the resignations of the majority of editors and editorial board members. The linkurl:investigative article;http://www.cmaj.ca/cgi/rapidpdf/cmaj.051461v1.pdf reported on a screening form designed by the Canadian Pharmacists? Association, in which pharmacists asked personal questions of women buying the emergency contraceptive Plan B, potentially deterring them from the purchase. After the CMAJ published the story, the Ontario Pharmacists? Association said it would not use the form or ask Plan B-buyers personal questions. Who knows how the Canadian Medical Association (CMA), the journal?s publisher, is reacting to the news. For people who have not been in the loop, the saga started on February 20th, when the publisher sacked top editors John Hoey and Anne Marie Todkill after they published the Plan B story. The CMA -- which received complaints about the article from the Canadian Pharmacists? Association and asked Hoey and Todkill to make some changes before it was published -- claimed it fired the editors because it was simply time for a change at the journal's helm. The replacements, Stephen Choi and Sally Murray, linkurl:quit;http://www.the-scientist.com/news/display/23176/ after one week. In the following weeks, the CMA announced linkurl:several measures;http://www.the-scientist.com/news/display/23220/ to strengthen the journal, including establishing a review panel headed by a former Canadian Supreme Court chief justice charged with designing a new governance structure for the CMAJ, and appointing two more top editors. Still, sixteen board members eventually resigned, arguing the CMA was linkurl:not doing enough;http://www.the-scientist.com/news/display/23234/ to ensure the editorial independence of the journal. The latest announcement from the Michener Awards Foundation appears to affirm the public?s support of the CMAJ under Hoey and Todkill, and sends a not-so-subtle message to the CMA. Whether or not the publisher will listen, however, is anyone?s guess.
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