Zooming around the world . . . even during a pandemic!

Biweekly telemeetings help overcome social and professional disconnection
By Lena Johansson
IFAJ Vice-president

Being forced into social distancing, we need each other’s company more than ever. That is one of the reasons why Jane Craigie started a fortnightly Zoom call about the situation due to COVID-19 all over the world.
Jane Craigie, the IFAJ executive member from Great Britain and owner of Jane Craigie Marketing in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, wanted to give an informal social opportunity for journalists and agri-comms people who were isolated in their homes due to Coronavirus restrictions.
The trigger for setting up the agri-comms Zoom call was aimed at overcoming social and professional disconnection and to share news from overseas journalists about what’s happening in their countries.
Thirty journalists and communicators attended the first meeting in late April to hear from four international journalists about how COVID-19 is affecting farming, food supplies and society in Australia, Canada, the Netherlands and Spain. During later calls there have also been reports from other countries such as Denmark, Israel, Sweden and Ireland.
“I thought it would be a great opportunity for us all to get together, and also to hear from some of our peers from other countries,” says Jane.
“I’ve had a number of UK journalists asking me for international contacts, from my network, to interview about what’s going on beyond our borders. My plan is to run the calls fortnightly and to invite contacts from our IFAJ network to join us.
“It’s also an opportunity for the international journalists to hear about what’s happening here in the UK and for us as professionals in the same sector to share views, information and just to connect.”
The meetings are being held at 13.00 pm British Summer Time (GMT+1) on 29 May, 12 June, 26 June and 10 July 2020.
Those wanting to join the call over the coming months can do so by registering here.

Jane Craigie, organizer of the Agri-Comm sessions where agricultural journalists and communicators from around the world share information and experiences about the COVID19 pandemic.
Jane Craigie, organizer of the Agri-Comm sessions where agricultural journalists and communicators from around the world share information and experiences about the COVID19 pandemic.