Adventist News Reporting: The Recorder

Speaker: Categories: Mar 14, 1987


This lecture has only one CD/MP3.

[1hr, 15min, 44sec]


Reporting the news, whether within a political or social community, within a multinational corporation, or within a religious organization, poses many challenges. Such challenges must be readdressed from time to time as the nature of the community or organization changes.

Objectivity, the reporting of events just as they happen, must, of necessity, be moderated by subjectivity, the reporting of events as viewed by the editorial staff, publishing policy, or administrative perspective.

Any union conference paper, published within the Seventh-day Adventist Church structure, must confront this objectivity/subjectivity dilemma.

What would be "good" for church members to read about their church might be quite differently defined by the broad spectrum of lay groups within that membership, various pastors and other employees, and an array of dedicated church administrators. It is, also, quite likely that some groups, although allegedly wishing to "know what's going on," might also feel affronted by any truly public airing or notice or report of "everything" newsworthy happening within "our" church.

Herein, enter the Recorder staff and The Pacific Union Recorder, the biweekly missive to the membership of the local conferences of Arizona, Hawaii, Nevada-Utah, and in California -- Central, Northern, Southeastern, and Southern. Dating back to the turn of the century and distributed free to Seventh-day Adventist members within the Pacific Union, this publication has sought to disseminate news and inspirational material to the entire southwestern region.

Ellen G. White was included among its earliest writers. The original format was magazine style, later published as a tabloid newspaper, and, since January, 1986, once again organized as a magazine.

With that most recent change in format other changes also occurred, including color photo covers, letters to the editor, feature articles ranging from personality sketches to contemporary issues in Adventism. Perhaps, like this writer, you noticed these rather dramatic and startling departures from what Pacific Union Adventists had regularly anticipated finding in their mail boxes. And, perhaps, you wondered just what was going on!


C. Elwyn Platner is no newcomer to Southeastern California. He was Public Relations Director for this Conference, 1965-1971. More recently, he has worked as Associate Public Relations Director for the Voice of Prophecy, Public Information Officer for Walla Walla College, and as Communication Director for the Oregon Conference.

His earlier career included teaching English at Oshawa Missionary College, newspaper reporting and editing in Washington and Idaho, public relations directorships in the Georgia-Cumberland Conference and at Hinsdale Sanitarium and Hospital.

Serving as editor of the Recorder is only one facet of his current role as Pacific Union Communication Director. He is also responsible for preparing news releases for the public press, coordinating the work of local church communication secretaries, preparing photographic materials for SDA publications and multimedia productions, preparing audiovisual programs, and advising denominational administrators on public relations matters to maintain a positive public image.

Our March speaker received his Bachelor of Arts degree, with a major in English and a minor in religion, from Walla Walla College in 1957. He has completed postgraduate work at the University of California, Lorna Linda University, Kodak Education Center, and at Walla Walla.

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