Theoretically, a silver lining

What’s the upshot in all this Bailey brouhaha for sg news and commentary? Mainly, I think “news” of the kind exemplified by “Clear for All to See” makes painfully, well … clear the need for a southern-gospel wire service or news syndicate - an independently managed network of affiliates (or individuals) whose correspondents feed stories, articles, news tips, features and commentary about sg to a centralized newsroom of editors and rewriters who would enforce mutually agreed upon standards of style and content and then push that edited content out to subscribers. Conceivably, these subscribers would include not just publications like the U.S. Gospel News, Singing News, sogospelnews.com, and so on, but also local and regional publications, a segment of whose readership follows sg (i.e. newspapers in the south, most likely). There are Christian news syndicates organized on this model (and one valuable side-effect of these organizations is that the people and groups covered by news services learn to be much more savvy about communication with fans). I remember occasionally using Christian wire services in my days as a reporter and copy editor, but I never saw them cover much sg stuff other than deaths of major figures or Dove awards and other big things like that. If the SN was smart, it seems to me, it wouldn’t just be ON a distribution list like the one I describe (assuming it doesn’t already exist); they’d START one that would feed content to other sg publications as well as mainstream media. That would be a stroke brilliance for sure, but it would also take a lot of money and journalistic discipline. SN probably has boatloads of the first but seems, from the evidence available in every month’s issue, to have very little of the second. That is, the Nashville Tennessean or the Macon Telegraph is unlikely to subscribe to a “news” service whose releases are all written in Kirksey-speak or Danny Jonesisms. All of which means for the right entrepreneurial sg type out there, there’s a huge opportunity waiting to be tapped.

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