Editorial: Writing His Message
“What’s black and white and completely over?” Jon Stewart quipped last year around this time on his Comedy Central show. “It’s newspapers.” Not so fast, Mr. Stewart, say publishers, writers and readers across the nation. Okay, so the Internet certainly is giving dailies a run for their money as a news and entertainment source. Still, according to the Audit Bureau of Circulations reporting service, 38 million people read papers on weekdays and 5 million more on Sundays.
And it’s not just the national publications that get read. While we’ve seen industry reports showing that newspaper circulations across the nation have been falling faster than a comet, the CCA Weekly was not among that number; in fact, it has remained in orbit, increasing its numbers dramatically over the past three years. How much in percentage, we’re not certain, but suffice to say that when we decided to go from a four-page to a single-page format last year, we heard from you—our readers—asking us to please reconsider.
As most of you know, it was not a premier newspaper trend that our publication was trying to follow by going online, but rather, a wise decision that was two-fold: to allow our student writing staff to write more articles and stories through The Messenger, our new high school online newspaper, and to bring down weekly publishing costs. We didn’t ignore your e-mails in the process; in fact, as the new school year began, we brainstormed about ways that we could satisfy both our needs and yours. The result? A printed bi-weekly, four-page, full-color publication that includes a set of complete articles and a variety of others that can be read fully online via The Messenger.
This mix of “new and old” format will take effect in the New Year, starting with our January 14, 2010 edition. Our hope and prayer is that it better serves our community, and that our paper will increase its readership, as that has always been part of its mission—to tell the CCA story well so that the whole wide world can read about all the things that God is doing in our midst! For it is with every story that you read that God’s story is told and thus causes people to change, or at least, to think harder. It’s in the story of the athlete that gains popularity for giving God credit for his or her grand achievement; it’s in the story of an eighth grade class that learns to be a real “body of Christ,” through the suffering of one of their classmates; and it’s in the story of a teacher, whose dedication to her calling brings us to recognize that what we do here at CCA on any given day is… priceless.
The other part of our mission is equally important, as student writers are finding their purpose in life and learning to write His message well. Although we are a local school newspaper, we are connecting with readers globally. When we wrote about various religions last year, we heard from a reader all the way from Norway, who had different views from our Christian beliefs. And while his comments were not good, the fact that we, a school newspaper, paused him to read and think, was.
Technology is setting industries in every market on a course of hairpin turns at breakneck speeds, challenging even the most lucrative of companies such as Conde Nast Publications, the publishers of The New Yorker, Vogue, and Wired from changing their course. Likewise, our newspaper is taking another turn and we hope you’re in for a good ride!
We hope our writing continues to inform you, inspire you, and entertain you. Writing His message is an important feat, one that we welcome any day of the week. Can writing change the world? We certainly believe so. God’s Word inspires us to do just that.