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A journey of faith from TV to digital news

‘Has anyone ever told you, you look like that girl on TV?”

My husband and I chuckled as we sat in an office with the car salesman who made that comment.

“I used to be that girl,” I said.

Chellie Ison | Inside StoryIt’s hard to believe seven months have passed since I joined the team here at The Christian Chronicle. Seven months since I stepped out of my comfort zone (the world of a TV reporter) and into a job that would challenge me in new ways.

I came here with one goal — to have more time for my husband and our children. The Lord has blessed me with that time. The transition has at times been emotional and hard, but a few weeks into the change I realized this was in fact the path God had made for me.

Recently, as I was with my family in the car, my 7-year-old said, “Mom, it’s really nice that you can hang out with us now.”

My schedule at my previous job was not the worst, but it often involved long hours and crazy, early mornings that started when my alarm went off at 1:18 a.m. (I had four alarms set on my phone — in intervals of three minutes each — so that I wouldn’t be late for the morning newscast.)

I often heard things like, “Oh, bless your heart. That’s awful,” or “I just don’t know how you balance everything.”

Chellie’s son, Brixton (7), and daughter, Ila (1).The reality is, I wasn’t balancing anything, and I constantly felt like I was missing out on the childhood of the two little people God has entrusted me with. Honestly, I think that’s how a lot of working moms feel, and many of us don’t have the option to change our schedules.

So it was in that car, in that moment, when my son’s words made me realize I really had been missing out. Fortunately, now, we are able to spend a lot of time together.

I pray that I can be as much of a blessing to the Chronicle as it has been to me.

Plotting an online future for this publication means keeping up with ever-changing trends and technological developments — so much so that we’ve struggled to put a name to my function here. Recently, my title changed to Digital News Editor.

Over the past several months, I’ve been working to develop more video content for our website and increase our presence on social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

However, the online world is a much different … umm … beast than our traditional print issue.

Our print audience trusts us because they know us. We’ve been mailbox buddies for years — decades even.

Now, thanks to the internet, we are able to reach a worldwide audience we could have only dreamed of reaching before.

But we don’t have the years of familiarity with these new readers. Sometimes, we don’t even speak the same language. Our words are read through translation programs that fail to deliver vital context.

Add to that the ever-fading line between reliable news and so-called “fake news” that seeks only to generate rage and page views.

As we work to make our content more available and more appealing, we are intentional about remaining relevant — and not sensationalizing stories for the sake of a click.

But let’s be honest: the Chronicle, like other media, increasingly relies on online readers to sustain growth. We seek to bring you a professional-grade online product in the spirit of our print product.

As we grow, we value your suggestions and feedback, especially about the ease of access and interactivity with our website across multiple platforms — desktops, tablets, phones and other mobile devices. We seek to remedy the issues we encounter and make our online presence easier to navigate.

We also strive, as always, to hold true to our mission to produce news that informs, inspires and unites, to tell the stories of Churches of Christ in 2017 and beyond, to serve as a vital resource for people of faith.

The task can seem daunting in an age when social media comments are plagued with negative, hurtful words — attacks sometimes made by people of faith. But we believe God will guide our efforts if we seek to live our lives for his Son.

We do our best to follow our Savior’s lead, and we ask you to walk beside us on this journey.

CONTACT: [email protected]

Filed under: Inside Story News Extras People

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