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Associated Church Press celebrates "Best of the Christian Press"

From Worldwide Faith News <>
Date Tue, 04 Aug 2009 21:54:55 -0700

Associated Church Press celebrates "Best of the Christian Press" in Indianapolis

May 27, 2009

Associated Church Press
By Joe Thoma, Director, ACP
(407) 341-6615

Associated Church Press annual conventions such as the one held in
May, 2009 in Indianapolis are a great opportunity for members to show
mutual support, celebrate a common purpose, develop professional
skills, gain inspiration from stellar keynote speakers and take home
prizes for their best work. But future conventions should increase the
number of workshops that deal with electronic communications ? Web
development, E-zines and social networking and marketing.

That's the consensus among members polled after the Indianapolis convention.

The 2009 convention, at the Adam's Mark Hotel, was held concurrently
with the Evangelical Press Association's annual gathering, with
combined workshop offerings, some shared events and meals and separate
awards ceremonies.

Combined attendance at the May 6-8 convention was about 350, which
organizers said was good, considering some of the economic challenges
facing member publications and their parent organizations.

The convention helped participants ". . . practice tremendous
stewardship of resources", said outgoing ACP President Terry DeYoung.
"Our concurrent ACP and EPA conventions mean we're able to pool
resources and drawing power to offer an incredible array of
professional workshops ? more in number and higher in quuality than
ever before."

ACP arranged for Sister Helen Prejean, renowned anti-death penalty
activist and author of Dead Man Walking, to deliver the keynote
address at a special ACP luncheon. That event was one of the more
popular of the convention, attracting several EPA participants and
many Indianapolis-area advocates for justice. The convention also
featured Gustav Niebuhr, former New York Times reporter and current
Syracuse University professor of religion and media; and pollster George  Barna.

Sister Helen held the crowd spellbound in describing her journey from
inward-looking Catholic nun to outspoken advocate for society's most  shunned.

"This isn't a peripheral moral issue, but one that lies at the heart
of who we are as a society," she said. "Since 1976 we have gassed,
shot, electrocuted and lethally injected over 1,000 human beings in
this country, but it could just as well be in India. We're so
separated from the reality that we feel no horror."?

Niebuhr, in his closing night address to both groups, exhorted the
religious press to maintain hope and perseverance as the world digs
out from the worst recession in decades and news publications ?
mainstream and specialized"  ? deal with changing public demand.

"The coverage of religion news is suffering," Niebuhr said, adding
that the closing of many large-city newspapers looks like "the
collapse of an institution."

Still, specialized media ? niche publications and community
newspapers, including the religious press ? could weather the economic
downturn if they focus on their key markets, he said.

"I cannot think of a time when your work is more important . . . You
are going to challenge the dark times," he said.

ACP recognizes best of Christian press

The annual convention also honored editors, writers and designers
serving the religious press at the Best of the Christian Press awards
ceremony. Recognizing excellence in more than 60 categories, the
awards were presented at the May 8 banquet.

ACP judges selected winners from more than 1,000 submissions. Each
year, the competition draws entries published in newspapers,
newsletters, magazines, journals, news services, E-zines and Web sites
from around the United States, Canada and Europe.

Publications recognized for outstanding work in 2008 include The
Alabama Baptist as best regional newspaper, the Christian Chronicle as
best national newspaper, A Common Place as best special interest
magazine and U.S. Catholic as best denominational magazine.

To view a complete list of this year's winners, including commentary
from judges, see:

New Board Members

Verity A. Jones, editor and publisher of Disciples World, was elected
president of the ACP. Indianapolis-based Disciples World is a journal
of news, opinion, and mission for the Christian Church (Disciples of  Christ).

Terry DeYoung, managing editor of The Church Herald, denominational
magazine of the Reformed Church in America, moves into the past-president  slot.

Newly elected to the ACP board were Julie Price, of the Minnesota
Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church; Joel Schorn,
managing editor of True Quest Communications, Chicago; and Crystal
Steeves-Holloway, editor of The Canadian Adventist Messenger, the
monthly magazine published for members of the Seventh-day Adventist
Church in Canada.

The next Associated Church Press Convention is scheduled for May 6-9,
2010, in Washington, D.C.

Formed in 1916, the Associated Church Press is the oldest
interdenominational press association in North America, and has members

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