As one Episcopal newspaper ends, another begins

The last issue of Episcopal News Monthly is about to go to press, and a new, independent paper prepares to fill the gap.

Episcopal News Service says:

Episcopal News Monthly, a newspaper printed in conjunction with diocesan partners, and Episcopal News Quarterly, a supplement to certain diocesan quarterly news magazines, will cease publication with the January 2011 issues.

The final issues of both publications, which will be produced before Christmas, mark the end of the Episcopal Church’s 50 years as a newspaper publisher. Episcopal News Service will continue to operate online, offering a mix of news stories, commentary, photos and video reports. The ENS website is due for a major redesign in 2011.

ENS, a descendant of the Diocesan Press Service that once mailed Episcopal Church news releases to communicators, also offers an e-mailed daily digest of the news that was posted online that day, along with other daily features. Reader can subscribe here.

“Diversion of our very limited staff and resources to support these publications is now impacting the news gathering and dissemination for the wider church,” said Anne Rudig, director of the Episcopal Church’s Office of Communication. “Discontinuing the print publications will allow the news team to ramp up the coverage for the online news service.”

In February, the Episcopal Journal will launch as an independent newspaper. Like some editions of Episcopal Life and Episcopal News Monthly, the paper will be printed in partnership with more than a dozen diocesan newspapers. The editorial board will consist of communications ministers from some of the participating dioceses. According to a news release describing the project, the paper is expected to reach over 50,000 households. A campaign for individual and small group subscriptions will follow.

Editorial director Jerry Hames says the Journal’s mission is “to inform, involve and inspire Episcopalians in the United States and abroad by sharing the good news of our church’s life and ministry.”

Freshly designed with an attractive contemporary layout, Episcopal Journal will offer timely and accurate reporting, drawing its news articles from Episcopal News Service and other Episcopal, Anglican and ecumenical news services, he said.

“It will also invite contributions from recognized names in the fields of religion, science and the arts, and offer columns and meditations appropriate for the church seasons.”

Hames, editor of Episcopal Life from 1990 to 2007, said the new publication will fill a vacuum caused by the decision to terminate national print publications from the Episcopal Church Center in New York….

…“We now have partners committed to the printing program from coast to coast,” Hames said. “They include the dioceses of Delaware, Long Island, Bethlehem, Easton, Vermont, New Hampshire, Northern Michigan, West Tennessee, Iowa, Nevada, San Joaquin and Eastern Oregon.” A quarterly issue of the Journal will also be produced for several dioceses who publish four times a year.

Four diocesan editors whose publications are partners in the printing program will serve on an editorial advisory committee. They are the Rev. Heather Cook of Easton, Cate McMahon of New Hampshire, Rise Thew Forrester of Northern Michigan and Jeanie Senior of Eastern Oregon.

Read more here.

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