All together now, GetReligion readers.
Strange fascination, fascinating me
Changes are taking the pace
I’m going through …
(Turn and face the stranger)
Pretty soon you’re gonna get
a little older
Time may change me
But I can’t trace time
I said that time may change me
But I can’t trace time
GetReligion has faced some major changes in its nearly 10 years of cyber-life, but nothing like what we’ll be going through this month.
Alas, I am not talking about changes in technology or format. I’m talking about changes on our masthead, in terms of the writers whose work you follow here day after day.
For starters, Joe Carter is already out the door — after taking a social-media job with the Washington, D.C., office of, well, a really ginormous faith-based flock. He cannot discuss the details for another week or two, when the new post will formally be announced. His work with us ended Sept. 1. He has been a crucial player for us on a wide variety of issues, including social media.
But the big news is that the Divine Mrs. M.Z. Hemingway — she of the 2,016, and counting, GetReligion posts over the past eight years — has accepted a full-time reporting, editing and commentary position with a major online news website that literally has yet to be announced. Thus, she cannot share all of the details of her new gig with us until the launch in a week or so.
I don’t quite know how to describe the force-of-nature role that MZ has created for herself here at GetReligion and in social media — so I won’t even try. The word “omnipresent” leaps to mind (especially on Twitter).
Mollie will write her own farewell post at the end of the month (she’s writing in a limited role all of September). At this point, I will simply stress that her name will remain on our masthead for a simple reason: How can you read all of the interlocked posts she has produced here through the years (posts to which I am sure people will continue to link) without people being able to find an online reference on this site that says who she is?
Plus, we hope that her new employer will — once the site is up and rolling — allow her to come back to GetReligion in a much smaller role than her current daily posting role. I am saying that she is on extended leave.
So how in the world do you replace people like MZ and Joe?
The short answer is is this: We’re going to need a bigger boat. By that, I don’t mean that we need a bigger website. I mean that we need more people.
Longtime readers will know that when MZ started out, she was writing two or three times a week — not daily. Right now, my goal is to find several people who do what we do and then see where they fit in.
As always, we’re looking for people with mainstream professional journalism experience who want to join us in looking for religion ghosts in daily news coverage. We are a circle of traditional religious believers who just happen to strongly believe that journalism will be improved by people who love journalism, rather than people who hate it. We remain committed to old-fashioned journalism that places a heavy emphasis on accuracy, fairness and balance, especially when covering hot-button moral, cultural and religious issues. We remain much more interested in matters of doctrine and practice than we are interested in politics.
We are talking to several people at the moment about coming on board, but you can look forward to the following bylines in the weeks.
The first is veteran technology writer Mark “God on the Internet” Kellner, a former Gannett professional whose day job is as news editor of the Adventist Review magazine. Obviously, as a scribe associated with the Seventh-day Adventist Church, he will be doing minimal writing about press coverage of that flock (although sometimes it’s interesting to hear the point of view of someone on the other side of the reporter’s notebook). Also, since Kellner still writes a religion analysis column for The Washington Times, he will not be doing criticism of The Washington Post or other DC-specific media.
The other news is that GetReligion’s Oklahoma-Sunbelt bureau will expand, with veteran editor and Godbeat reporter Tamie Ross joining the team. Yes, this is the spouse of Bobby Ross Jr., but her work as an editor, religion writer and feature writer (at The Oklahoman), and some work in television and religious-market journalism (United Methodist News Service and The Christian Chronicle) speaks for itself. The Ross duo will write more often here than Bobby’s load in the past.
You’ll see introductions from Keller and Tamie Ross in the near future, as they kick into posting mode.
That’s all for now, but methinks there will be a few other GetReligion changes in the near future.