By Good News Today Staff
NEWBERG, Ore. – About 20 member newspapers across the United States and Canada are in the process of organizing a revived Christian Newspaper Association. Intermountain Christian News, based in Boise, Idaho, is among those newspapers. The association takes its name from an earlier group that disbanded several years ago.
While most of the newspapers in the new CNA are published on a monthly basis, several are bimonthlies or quarterlies and one is a weekly. They serve communities in 12 states and two Canadian provinces. All member papers must be nondenominational in tone and content.
John Fortmeyer, publisher of Newberg-based Christian News Northwest, proposed the new group. His newspaper, which marked its 20th anniversary in June, is a regional monthly that serves the Portland area as well as much of western and central Oregon and southwest Washington.
“The Great Recession has been a challenging one for the entire newspaper industry,” he said. “All newspapers – secular, religious, daily, weekly, monthly, whatever – have been affected by the economy and have had to make significant cutbacks. Christian newspapers have not been exempt from this trend, and a number of them across the continent have either ceased publication entirely, or switched to a magazine or online-only format. But there are still a number of evangelical Christian publishers and editors who believe the traditional print newspaper format has an important place in the overall media mix, particularly in serving the evangelical community.”
Fortmeyer noted that Christian newspapers vary in purpose. While some, like his, strongly focus on reporting of church and ministry-related news, others are more evangelistic in tone and feature personal testimonies of faith. Some offer a mix of both. “It seems that God gives each local Christian newspaper a special calling in their area,” he said.
He added, “The association is starting out small, with an e-mail list-serve that will allow the publishers and editors regular communication on pertinent topics as well as encourage mutual prayer support. Possible future projects for the CNA could include a web site that promotes all member papers, an advertising co-op and a news-sharing program.
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