First take on the official LDS blog?

salt_lake_lds_mormon_templeI think that this blogging thing is going to stick around.

I say this because of short news report from veteran scribe Peggy Fletcher Stack of the Salt Lake Tribune about another blog — from a somewhat unexpected source — that has entered the digital blogosphere (including Facebook and Twitter). Here’s the news:

The LDS Church’s Public Affairs Department has joined the lively, often contentious world of Mormon blogging.

The blog — at http://newsroom.lds.org/blog/ — will include “commentary, additional context, localized stories and background to help the news media and the public better understand news and issues related to the church,” Lyman Kirkland, the department’s manager of social media, wrote on the site.

The information, managed and written by the church’s public-affairs staff, will be “reliable and accurate,” Kirkland wrote, but “should not necessarily be viewed as official statements from the [LDS] Church.” In addition, the blog’s tone will “more conversational” than the usual LDS news release, he wrote.

As a rule, the site will not be open to comments from the public — for reasons that should be obvious to anyone who has ever tried to monitor the comments pages on a post about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Can you imagine the number of copy-desk pros (or Brigham Young University journalism-department interns) it would take to edit the troll-esque comments on such a site? However, Stack noted that comments may be allowed from “time to time.” Stay tuned.

Anyway, anyone want to predict who makes a guest appearance as the flash point in the very first post on this new all-things-Mormon weblog? You got it — the Divine Mrs. M.Z. Hemingway, because of her recent “Kiss kiss bang bang” post about Associated Press coverage of those post-Proposition 8 “kiss ins” that drew dozens of people from coast to coast.

I am sure that you are shocked — make that “shocked, shocked” — that MZ’s name popped into the LDS news mix so fast.

However, this little online item has reminded me of something that your GetReligionistas have needed to do for some time now. We have long needed a “Mormon” file in our “categories” system. And if we are going to create this file, we need to know what we need to dig out of 5-plus years worth of material to put in it, to get things started.

Thus, in the comments pages for this post, please let us know which essential GetReligion posts need to go into this new niche. Tell us the ones you liked or, if you must, tell us the ones that you hated (and why). However, please know that there will be no way to avoid the word “exaltation.” Go ahead, ask Mitt Romney.

OK, fire away and keep it clean.

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About tmatt

Terry Mattingly directs the Washington Journalism Center at the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities. He writes a weekly column for the Universal Syndicate.

  • Shelly

    I would like to see more of the ideas that are in the two books (and presented in the same light of fairness) as How Wide the Divide and Bridging the Divide.

  • Jerry

    Can you imagine the number of copy-desk pros (or Brigham Young University journalism-department interns) it would take to edit the troll-esque comments on such a site?

    You peaked my curiosity about how many you need to edit here on such uninteresting topics such as gays and abortion?

  • http://shantelgardnerfamily.blogspot.com Shantel

    I am LDS. I have really enjoyed this blog so far.It has allways made me a little nervous reading anything in the media about our religion. Rarely, is it accurate, and it seems like the people who are not Mormon, but think they know the “real deal” get more attention. It is disheartning sometimes. But as long as things are fair and accurate, I think a Mormon catagory would be good. Did you noticed how I stressed accurate? Or maybe correct would be better? No – I’ll stick with accurate.

  • http://www.getreligion.org/?p=3978 E.E. Evans

    JERRY:

    HA Gotcha, kiddo. I’ve been waiting. The word is piqued, not peaked. ;-)

  • http://www.tmatt.net tmatt

    Come on folks! No ideas for stories to go in the file?

  • Becca

    As a Latter-day Saint, I think Mollie’s posts about Mormon news are the best at pinpointing what the press doesn’t get about Mormonism. I particularly like her posts about the recent Big Love temple ceremony scene and the Church’s involvement in California’s Prop 8.

  • Raj Sonja

    Ok, why is it that lds needs a blog?
    Why do lds need to try so hard to present a positive view of themselves?

  • Warren

    The church would like to have an accurate view of how it stands on the issues. Just like any organization, the church does not want the false information that is so often posted on the net to stand as the last word. Not everyone is going to agree with what the church stands for or believes in but the church also has a right to put forth their views. There must be a reason why the church continues to find people all over the world who believe in the same things they teach.

  • Phoebe

    The hot topics would be great for the file. Mormons and the Gay issue, Mormons and polygamy, Mormons and missionary work, etc. Some more highlighting on the good things the church does would be good. The church is involved in a lot of service work with natural disasters. Famous Mormons is always fun (Gladys Knight? Who didn’t know. Amy Adams and Katherine Heigl? The Killers? Apparently they were at one point…)

  • http://www.ecben.net Will

    And Eliza Dushku (whose name came up when someone asked if it was true that “there are a lot of famous Mormon vampires.”

    Ok, why is it that lds needs a blog?
    Why do lds need to try so hard to present a positive view of themselves?

    Why is it that the White House needs a blog? Why does the Obama administration need to try so hard to present a positive view of itself?

  • Jettboy

    I am curious what th reason is for having a file before making suggestions. Just search “Mormon” on GetReligion and its easy enough to find the most important stories.

  • mar45

    Eliza Dusku, Amy Adams, Heigl, are NOT active LDS, so don’t put them in the mix.
    And Raj, LDS need a blog, because the Media is 80% inaccurate in their views and reports. Sensationalism sells-facts don’t. Think “National Inquirer’…..

  • jkc

    There’s nothing wrong with calling Adams, Heigl, et al. Mormons. Come on, if we are going to claim them on our membership rolls, then why should we disown them on the blogs?

    If somebody self-identifies as Mormon, then who are we to judge whether he attends church often enough to qualify for the title? We have the same argument with those who want to deny the title of Christian to us LDS. Adams and Heigl, as well as Brandon Flowers (Killers frontman) have all had positive things to say about their LDS faith and heritage even if they don’t actively participate in church life. If somebody has been baptized and never asked to have her name removed from the church’s records, then she’s still a member.

    If its misinformation you’re concerned about, then the right solution is to give details about the person’s relationship with the church, not to be jealous about the term “Mormon.”

  • http://www.getreligion.org Mollie

    Just because I’m so proud of her, I have to mention that Amy Adams is a childhood friend of mine. She hasn’t been LDS in decades, for what it’s worth.


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