Tuesday, October 13, 2015         

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Presses stop rolling for local Episcopal newspaper

By Pat Gee


The Hawaiian Church Chronicle ends 128 years of keeping members of the Episcopal Church informed with the publication of its December issue.

The Chronicle's editor, the Rev. Canon Liz Beasley, said the church's Executive Council decided in October to cut funding for all print publications.


» www.episcopalhawaii.org
In a Chronicle article, she said budget cuts actually began about a year ago at the General Convention of the Episcopal Church, and that the Chronicle began printing only quarterly instead of 10 times a year, she said.

The Chronicle is printed as a "wrap" around the national Episcopal News Monthly, which also ceases publication in January, she said. Originating as the Anglican Church Chronicle in 1882, it became the Hawaiian Church Chronicle in 1908 and now has a circulation of 3,700, Beasley said.

The Chronicle will continue to be "published" through e-mail. It makes sense, she said, based on the feedback she has received "that fewer and fewer people actually read the Chronicle."

But she is concerned that there is a large segment of people in the diocese who do not use a computer. Beasley urged churches and clergy to print out the E-Chronicle and other E-News, and post printouts on bulletin boards or insert them in their newsletters.

Beasley told the Star-Advertiser she has been the editor for eight years, serving off and on since 1999. The biggest change she made was to include more local congregational events.

An ongoing discussion once was whether the Chronicle's purpose was to provide investigative reporting and breaking news or be "a PR or mouthpiece for the church and the diocese," she said.

"We haven't taken the route of trying to contradict prevailing thought" in the diocese, although the Chronicle has always published differing viewpoints, she said. Because of the time lag in publication, its primary purpose has been reporting on past events.

"It's fine with me. I am not trained to be an investigative journalist. I work for the bishop. My job is to promote the agenda of the governing body and make the diocese the best it can be. Our aim is to grow the congregation by inviting people to discover Jesus Christ. Our intention is to strengthen people in their faith and by doing so strengthen our congregation," she said.

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