|From: Charles F. Cooley firstname.lastname@example.org
Date: Monday, June 12, 2000 5:15 PM
Subject: AN OPINION ROUNDUP
UNITED METHODIST REPORTER
Serious questions have been raised about the Reporter and its value to the United
Methodist Church because its writers and editors seem more interested in changing than
upholding the denominations stand on important issues.
Here is a compilation of comments and suggestions that have been made:
"It is hard to accept the fact that our leaders have such little integrity when it
comes to their role in "guarding" and "declaring" the truth. They have
an agenda and regardless of what it takes, they are moving to accomplish their task. We do
not have objective journalism today but people drunk with the possibility of shaping a
"The Reporter is a for profit business. They sell papers to UM Churches. If enough
UM Churches discontinue purchasing their work, they are out of a job. . . .Our church
discontinued them before the shift in editorial policy, we are now very glad we did."
"...there is a distinct difference between a general news agency and a church
organ: the former quite rightly covers a waterfront of public opinion, the latter lifts up
its sponsors tenets, ministry, and program. The reporter has tried too hard to talk
about religion, not hard enough to support basic Methodist concepts. It is too much like
Newsweek, not enough like a Wesleyan Journal."
"For over 20 years I have been asking UMR to balance its coverage."
"For three years they have refused to print letters I have sent to the editor,
none of which have been unkind in any way, and all of which have chosen an angle somewhat
different from any of the letters they have printed.
"Once Cynthia Astle (UMR editor) told me that the way she was going to assure
balanced reporting was to prevent people like me from being printed. Go figure. I still
have the e-mail she sent me."
"Forget about cleansing official publications. What we need is an alternative
voice in newspaper format. . . .Best example is PRESBYTERIAN LAYMAN -- very effective,
read by tens of thousands in and out of PCUSA, and extremely well greased with dollars. .
. . UMDECISION2000 was very effective as a short-lived effort -- and well greased with
dollars. We need SCOTT FIELD to continue networking and disseminating for us -- right
through the run-up to Pittsburgh 2004."
"The question is: Is Scott or some one else with Good News willing to undertake
such a task?"
"I also participated daily and was encouraged by the UMDECISION200 effort. It was
outstanding, and Scott Field was absolutely outstanding. An example of the right man at
the right place at the right time."
"Have you considered Good News Magazine? I know it does not come out as often as
the Reporter. They will be doing an issue on General Conference with should be out
"That would be a good move. But an online service would be better."
"The best thing to do with the Reporter is put it in your bird-cage. . . . The
question is: will the resolve of those who want United Methodism to be true to the
historic orthodox outlast those who would lead us down the primrose path to perdition? The
Reporter is in the same category as the board of Church and Society, the Womens
division, etc. Lets pray for them and one another."
"....we want SCOTT FIELD & GOOD NEWS to provide ongoing briefings. . . . We
want briefings more frequently than the Magazine itself can provide. We want our news hot.
We dont want to read cold analyses in the rear view mirror. We dont like
waiting. we want to follow breaking stories. We want to bivouac with the troops in the
field. . . . We sense that the Coalition formed around UMDecision 2000 wants frequent
briefings and analysis and close-ups of whats happening now. We believe the Revival
is happening now (even as hell is breaking loose in California and we want to be in on
"One suggestion would be to flood the GC2004 with hundreds of Evangelical, Spirit
led petitions that will "blow the socks off" of moderates and all the rest, plus
all the non-Christians. Come, Holy Spirit. Start typing."
"Yes, We believe in Good News Magazine -- and pass out free copies like hot dogs
at a picnic around here. But most of us nearly die between issues. Information will
convict and convince, but first its got to flow. The Revival wont wait for
everyone to subscribe. . . . Could Good News do a pre-empt on Newscope? I like the
pre-emption idea. Thats really what Im looking for. The fishing is very good
right now. Weve got to get our lines in the water. The fish are biting."
Friends: A great exchange! If we keep at it changes for the better will come. A note I
want to add is about the great work John Warrener did for us with his daily briefings. He
told us the good and the bad, even as he made it clear where he was coming from. I would
add his name to any nomination list for editor of a new United Methodist Advocate.