Arkansas Baptist News
I will be the first to admit the news and editorial pages of the Arkansas Baptist News (ABN) aren’t as sophisticated as some state Baptist newspapers – but what we lack in sophistication I believe we make up in the reporting and sharing of news and information about Arkansas Baptists.
Last month I did an informal survey of our newspaper to get an idea of how we are doing in reporting a variety of stories about Arkansas Baptists in various regions of the state.
Honestly, I was surprised at how diversified the news is that we publish. While we continue to have a lot of stories originate from Central Arkansas – Little Rock, North Little Rock, Benton, Conway, Jacksonville and Cabot – I was pleasantly surprised to see practically every region of Arkansas represented.
Whether it was in a large news or feature story or a shorter story on our Across Arkansas page, but there they were – Hughes, Kingsland, Atkins, Rose Bud, Gravel Ridge and Berryville, among many others – with timely information about what God is doing through His people known as Arkansas Baptists.
As you have read in this space before, the staff of the ABN has worked hard this past year to increase the number of stories about Arkansas Baptists and decrease other news from outside the state – unless, of course, it is important to Arkansas Baptists.
That effort has resulted in more than a 60 percent increase in news and information published about and for Arkansas Baptists. How did we do it? It was really quite simple – we have worked to reduce the length of our stories in order to report more stories.
With that said, we can’t do what we do without you, our loyal ABN readers. As I travel around the state meeting pastors and members – I ask pastors about what God is doing in their churches. Sometimes pastors are quick to tell me of some exciting things God is doing, but other times they might say something like, “Oh, God is doing some great things, but I’m not sure it is anything you would want to publish in the newspaper.”
I am quick to tell them they are wrong because I believe – no matter how small a story may seem – if it is telling about the activity of God in the state, it is news to Arkansas Baptists.
Soon the ABN will be announcing a major initiative to further improve our reach into the state. We are bringing back the concept of “regional correspondents” – or “stringers” as some of the old-timers call them – to help us do a better job of reporting across Arkansas. Our goal is to publish at least one page every quarter targeted directly to one of four regions outside Central Arkansas.
Stay tuned. This is going to be exciting! And what’s more, it’s all about you and the work God is doing through you and your churches in the Natural State.
Tim Yarbrough is editor of the Arkansas Baptist News. Contact him at email@example.com.