From the Worldwide Faith News archives


Date 05 May 1996 08:40:05


                    PRESBYTERIAN NEWS SERVICE 
                         By Julian Shipp 
CINCINNATI--Following approval in July by the General Assembly Council 
(GAC) and General Assembly, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has become the 
first mainline denomination to establish editorial guidelines for its news 
     The Advisory Committee for News was created by the GAC in February 
1994 when it approved the report of its Communication Task Group. Committee 
members were subsequently elected by the 206th General Assembly (1994) in 
Wichita, Kan. 
     According to the Rev. John C.R. Silbert, Advisory Committee for News 
chair from Murrysville, Pa., the committee was assigned two tasks: "to 
ensure independence of the news" and to develop an editorial policy to 
"guide the publication of news materials according to the standards of good 
     "We are breaking new ground as a mainline denomination," Silbert said. 
"In fact, with these guidelines, [the Presbyterian Church] becomes the 
first mainline denomination to establish news editorial guidelines and 
we're very proud of that." 
     According to the guidelines, the Presbyterian News Service shall: 
1.   Report the facts accurately, clearly, fairly, impartially and promptly 
to the church's members and to the world through appropriate media. 
2.   Respond to requests and inquiries about the church with accuracy, 
clarity, fairness, impartiality and promptness, 
3.   Carry out its work with faithfulness, competence and sound judgement. 
4.   Maintain concern for the personal dignity of all sources and contacts. 
5.   Present the facts without interference, manipulation, incumbrance or 
6.   Exercise particular care that opinion writing does not compromise 
professional integrity. 
7.   Insist that the open meeting policy of the Presbyterian Church 
(U.S.A.) be upheld. 
8.   Adhere to the Statement of Ethics and Standards of Professional 
Practice of the Associated Church Press (adpopted by the 1990 General 
     Committee members are Silbert; John Bolt, Dallas; Patricia G. Brown, 
vice chair, Cincinnati; Virgil Griepp, Spokane, Wash.; the Rev. Vicki Fogel 
Mykles, Ft. Collins, Colo.; and Deanna Clark (GAC liaison), Salt Lake City. 
     The Rev. James D. Brown, GAC executive director, and Gary Luhr GAC 
associate director for communication, are ex-officio members. The Rev. 
Jerry Van Marter, coordinator for News Services, is the designated staff 

For more information contact Presbyterian News Service
  Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Louisville, KY 40202
  phone 502-569-5504            fax 502-569-8073  
  E-mail   Web page: 


Browse month . . . Browse month (sort by Source) . . . Advanced Search & Browse . . . WFN Home