Commentary, From the Editor

Metro Lutheran wins award

That headline sounds more like a news story than a column, I know. But I really want readers to know that Metro Lutheran was recognized by the Associated Church Press (ACP) at its 2010 annual meeting in Washington, D.C., early in May. ACP is the granddaddy of press organizations for denominational or independent faith-based press.

Bob Hulteen

This group of magazines and newspapers (and now Web sites) gathers each year to network, to discuss trends in print and online journalism, and to recognize the best of the church press.

While the workshops for the last couple of years have been heavily weighted to business plans and electronic journalism (as opposed to previous years when there would have been more emphasis on the art of editing and secrets to successful solicitation of art and written content), this year’s atmosphere was a little more optimistic, even in the midst of the realistic.

First, we did acknowledge that a number of our publications had folded in the last year, and several beloved colleagues whose publications no longer exist. (I think I counted four award-winning publications from 2009 that are no more.) That was sobering.

But, there is a sense that we are beginning to respond positively. Many newspapers and magazines are redefining themselves more as “information providers” than newspapers or magazines. Clearly, we need multiple ways of expressing our message.

The best workshop I attended was called “Backpack Journalism.” Former Minnesotan (and former Lutheran) Gregg Brekke, now with the United Church of Christ’s communication department in Cleveland, showed us the multitude of cameras, microphones, video editing devices, and the like that he carries with him these days. Every story he covers is released in multiple formats these days. He showed some YouTube videos he has uploaded, as well as some radio spots. Journalism is becoming more complicated, and more of a solo effort, these days.

Expect to see Metro Lutheran appear in many formats in the next year. (And here’s one hint: The Web site is looking pretty good right now!)

Oh, yeah, we received the Honorable Mention (third place) in the ACP Best in Class Regional Newspaper, in what one judge called the most competitive category. The Metro Lutheran staff is proud. (I hope that you are, too.) And I am very excited about Metro Lutheran’s future!

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