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Christian Chronicle names new editor


Erik Tryggestad has been named editor of The Christian Chronicle, succeeding Lynn McMillon, who will remain president and CEO of the news service as it enters its 71st year of publication.
“Erik brings outstanding professional expertise and a deep Christian commitment to this position,” said McMillon, who will continue to be involved in the Chronicle, focusing on administrative oversight and finances. “For the past 12 years he has demonstrated his ability to capture stories of Christians around the world and to tell those stories in a compelling manner.”
McMillon said Tryggestad brings a clear vision of where the Chronicle needs to go in the near future and beyond. ‘Christian journalism might be the fulfillment of what journalism is supposed to be.’ — Erik Tryggestad
“That’s especially important as we continue to make every effort to provide our readers with trustworthy information both in print and online,” McMillon added.
Tryggestad, 40, joined the Chronicle staff in 2001, not long after answering a request for Christian journalists to apply for an open writer’s job when longtime managing editor Glover Shipp retired.
At first, his interest was in reporting and editing solely for daily newspapers.
A graduate of Lipscomb University in Nashville, Tenn., he earned a master’s in journalism from the University of Georgia and had begun a promising career at the Savannah Morning News in coastal Georgia. Still, he flew to Oklahoma City for an interview.

“Standing there waiting for me with a copy of the Chronicle was Bailey McBride, who was the editor at the time,” Tryggestad said. “He put his arm around me and five minutes later I knew I wanted the job.”

Fast-forward 12 years, hundreds of stories and datelines from 50 countries, and Tryggestad not only is grateful he took the job but is enthusiastic about the future of Christian journalism.
“The more I’ve looked at it, Christian journalism might be the fulfillment of what journalism is supposed to be,” he said. “It is all of the ideals we aspire to — objectivity, truth telling, speaking truth to power, fairness, balance, telling the story like it is — based on the fact that there is one absolute truth, belief in the Divine.”

Erik Tryggestad shows children in the town of Dano, Burkina Faso, photos of themselves during a 2009 reporting trip to West Africa. (PHOTO BY DEON FAIR)

Working alongside Bobby Ross Jr., who joined the Chronicle in 2005 as managing editor, Tryggestad has helped the publication become a nationally recognized news source, winning top honors from the Associated Church Press in 2009 and 2013.

“Bobby is my mentor,” Tryggestad said. “His years in secular media — with The Oklahoman and the Associated Press — are an invaluable asset. He’s a friend, and he’s made me a better writer and editor.”
With a growing subscriber list at a time when many newspapers are dying, the Chronicle is positioned for continued success, Tryggestad said. Nevertheless, ever-rising postal rates keep the staff looking for creative solutions to honor the budget.
“We won’t shift radically from a formula that works very well with our newspaper,” he said. “We will also look for ways to be more efficient and grow our online presence. We should think of ourselves as a news service that provides information to readers through a variety of products.”
McMillon said the decision naming Tryggestad editor was made by a group that included himself, Chronicle Board Chairman Deon Fair and Oklahoma Christian University President John deSteiguer. McMillon has been with the Chronicle for 17 years.
“Erik deeply loves the Lord and the church,” McMillon said. “He knows the church well from his many travels. He is an award-winning writer.”
A native of Macon, Ga., Tryggestad met his wife, Jeanie, in the singles ministry of the Memorial Road Church of Christ in Oklahoma City, where they are active members and Bible class teachers. Dr. Jeanie Tryggestad is a pediatric endocrinologist at the Children’s Hospital of Oklahoma. They have two daughters, Maggie, 5, and Lucy, who was born in September.

Filed under: International National News

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