I was humbled by the positive response of messengers at the 178th meeting of the Missouri Baptist Convention (MBC) to The Pathway and our announced plans to stop charging for subscriptions beginning Jan. 1. Not only did many attendees express delight at our decision, they also affirmed The Pathway’s biblical worldview approach to journalism. The Pathway staff and I are grateful for your affirmation and continued prayers.
The decision to no longer charge for subscriptions will enable us to reach more Missouri Southern Baptist homes. Our circulation will jump exponentially in 2013 and with that comes the responsibility to provide Pathway readers with the best newspaper possible. As I told messengers in my annual report, The Pathway is committed to telling the story of what God is doing through MBC churches. We will strive to promote unity among MBC churches, while serving as a source of encouragement. We will enthusiastically promote giving to the Cooperative Program, Lottie Moon Christmas Offering, Annie Armstrong Easter Offering and the Missouri Missions Offering.
In my report to messengers, I also stressed that The Pathway will continue to have a prophetic voice as it seeks to inform Missouri Southern Baptists about the issues important to them. The Pathway will continue to be a bold conservative voice, not because of any ideology, but because of its theology based on Scripture. We pledge to obey Jude 3, that we “contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints.”
For Christian journalists, Jude 3 demands our obedience to Christ in all that we do. This becomes critical as our culture threatens to become more secular, even hostile to Christianity. No longer can Christians expect the truth and to stay fully informed concerning the issues of the day from the increasingly liberal/secular news media.
The trust that Americans have in the secular news media is plummeting. In September 2009, the Pew Research Center for Excellence in Journalism reported that just 29 percent of Americans said that news organizations generally get the facts straight, while 63 percent said that news stories are often inaccurate. In a 2005 report by Pew studying the public perceptions of the news media over a 17-year period, it revealed that the number of Americans who felt the news media were professional declined from 72 percent to 49 percent and the number who think the media is moral dropped from 54 percent to 39 percent. Those who felt the media tried to cover up its mistakes rose from 13 percent to 67 percent and the number who think the media is politically biased jumped from 45 percent to 59 percent. While the Internet has had some impact, circulation among America’s newspapers has tumbled from 63.1 million in 1973 to 45.4 million in 2006, a 28 percent plunge. About 4,000 journalism jobs were lost from 2000-2010. America has lost 441 daily newspapers since 1940, including 43 since 2000. I believe God wants media who are faithful to His inerrant, infallible and sufficient Word – like The Pathway, Bott Radio and WORLD magazine –to stand in the gap.
As the secular press continues to decline, I hope you will letThe Pathway fill the void. Starting Jan. 1, anyone who is a member of an MBC-affiliated church, can have The Pathway mailed to their home or church at no cost. Start your subscription by calling Cindy Reichard at 573-636-0400, Ext. 231.