Saturday, January 16, 2010

The Next DisciplesWorld

So, I said I was going offer some ideas for how the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) could create a new news source after the demise of DisciplesWorld.  Without further ado, here are my ideas.

  • The Politico Route.  One of the few new media sites that is doing fairly well is the political magazine, Politico.  It's basically a blog with a lot of reporters.  Politico does publish a newspaper a few days a week in the Washington, DC area, but with that exception, they are all online.  From an email in late 2009 from Disciplesworld editor Verity Jones, I tend to think this was where Disciplesworld was headed before they closed.  There was talk of less physical issues and more content on the web.  I think they had the right idea, but it seems like they ran out of money before they could launch Disciplesworld in this new direction.  If there were some money found somewhere, I would say they should try this stillborn plan.
  • Beef up Disciples News Service.  Disciples News Service has done an okay job over the last few years and has started to send out emails on stories taking place in Discipledom. They also should receive kudos for getting on the Twitter train.  I wonder what would happen if we took some of the now unemployed Disciplesworld staff and created a news and opinion organization that would find stories and writers.  As I've said before, Presbyterian News Service has done a good job of reporting and DNS might want to learn from our ecclesiastical cousins.
  • Empower the laity.  Yeah, this is another idea from Presbyterians.  The Synod of the Sun started a venture called Presbyterian Neighbor News.  Started by Shane Whisler, the Communications staff person at the Synod it is meant to use content from Presbyterian News Service as well as content from staff persons in Synods and Presbyteries around the nation.  Most of the 16 Synods that make up the Presbyterian Church (USA) have kicked in some funding for the venture.  I could see a "Disciples Neighbor News" that used content from DNS as well as content from editors around the country.  It could be funded in part by each other regions and the general church.
These are just a few ideas.  I'm sure there are others.  I just hope people are thinking about what should be done after Disciplesworld.

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