Editor’s letter

Merging cultures can be a challenge.

 

When Associated Baptist Press and the Religious Herald joined forces on Jan. 1, we combined a news organization with a robust digital distribution system and a newspaper long committed to print. A significant portion of the exploration that created ABPnews/Herald circled around the viability of print. We talked about it – a lot.

The upshot is we recognize that today’s readers engage content in multiple formats and we think that’s a good thing. A print publication will be part of ABPnews/Herald’s dynamic mix of distribution methods which include our flagship web site, social media, e-mails and, yes, print.

You’re holding the result of those conversations in your hands. Herald will be distributed every other month with a lively collection of features, news trends and opinion, designed to be both useful and compelling. The magazine will be mailed to every contributor to our Annual Fund – a benefit of membership in our community. Call it the equivalent of public radio’s tote bag, if you will, but we aim at much more. It takes into account that our audience is bigger and more diverse than ever before.

Reliable news stories, compelling features, thoughtful analysis and engaging commentary — these are our stock-in-trade, and each is vital to our mission. Jake Silverstein, editor of Texas Monthly, said it best in a commentary last year: “This magazine, to put it simply, is no longer just a magazine. It is an attitude of inquiry that finds expression through a variety of modes — a first-class monthly magazine, daily online journalism of all shapes and sizes, social media, mobile apps, events, partnerships, videos and more.”

We’ll claim that identity and aim to live up to it.

It seems appropriate in this inaugural issue to look back at our two founding news organizations. For almost two centuries the Religious Herald was present at virtually every key event in Baptist life in America. Associated Baptist Press, forged as an independent voice in the midst of internecine conflict, has tracked Baptist life for more than two decades. The merger is more than combining forces. These two news organizations are part of our DNA.

We’re paying close attention to how our readers use our website and magazine. Let us know how we’re doing by email, Twitter and Facebook, website comments and, of course, the United States Postal Service. We’re listening.

 

Robert Dilday

Editor in chief

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