Movies and TV shows about journalism always catch my attention. How do publishing enterprises work? How do reporters and editors gather information? How are decisions made about the content that the public will see?
Here are questions that readers have about the content you read on the print and web pages of Canadian Mennonite.
1. How does the content get selected for publication?
As the editorial team makes decisions about what goes into the magazine and on the website, we are guided by CM’s mission statement: “To educate, inspire, inform and foster dialogue on issues facing Mennonites in Canada as it shares the good news of Jesus Christ from an Anabaptist perspective.”
CM’s correspondents write regularly about the people living out their faith in their regions’ communities, churches and organizations. The priority is to share news and opinions from within the Mennonite Church Canada family of faith, but we also pay attention to the happenings within the wider Mennonite-Anabaptist world. And articles, photos and story leads sent by individuals and congregations within our church family are always welcome.
The team looks for content that is timely and relevant to many readers. We aim to show a variety of experiences and perspectives. The writing needs to be clear and factually correct. Opinions must be expressed in ways that are respectful and help further conversation among readers. Some practical aspects also go into the decisions about content, such as the space available, the amount of staff time and budget limitations.
2. How can articles about my community or church appear in the magazine?
There are many interesting stories that have not yet been told! If you know of such stories, feel free to send information to the correspondent in your area or to someone on the editorial staff. You can find contact information in the masthead on page 3 of the magazine and at canadianmennonite.org/contact-us.
3. How do you treat readers’ letters and web comments?
When a new issue of the magazine arrives in mailboxes, many subscribers head straight to the Readers Write section. Online readers like to read the most recent web comments. These are places where the voices of readers across Canada are expressed, as part of the communication efforts with the nationwide church community.
These letters and comments might respond to published content, offer additional information or suggest a new topic for readers’ consideration. CM publishes most of these submissions.
As with the articles, the topics of letters and comments should be relevant to the life of Mennonites in Canada. We look for writing that is clear and concise. A variety of views is welcome, if the writers can express their opinions with respect and courtesy for the people they disagree with. If space is tight in the print magazine, preference is given to MC Canada congregants and readers who have not previously written about a particular topic in the past year.
For more details on how to write and submit your letter for publication, see the guidelines at the end of every Readers Write section. Potential web commenters can see the posting guidelines at the end of each article.
Welcome to new intern
The CM team recently welcomed journalism intern Emma Siemens, who will be contributing to this magazine throughout the school year. She is a fifth-year student at Canadian Mennonite University, Winnipeg, and has an interest in sharpening her writing and reporting skills. She attends Home St. Mennonite Church in Winnipeg, and has been involved in projects like Camps with Meaning and Mennonite Disaster Service. Welcome, Emma!
The writer of the letter, “On stoking ‘the fires of misinformation and division,’ ” page 8 in the July 25 issue, objected to the wording in the editorial note that accompanied her letter about the efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines. CM retracts the use of the word “debunks” but continues to point to the article referenced there, for a fuller picture of the statements by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.