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Editorial: The price and prize of Christian news

Touchy. Awkward. Those are words we use to describe talking about money.

Still, there are times when financial realities must be discussed. For The Christian Chronicle, now is one of those times.

The newspaper industry is struggling. Here in Oklahoma City, the publisher of our local newspaper, The Oklahoman, also has printed the Chronicle for the past six years. But that publisher closed its printing plant in September. The Oklahoman and the Chronicle now must be printed 90 miles away in Tulsa, Okla. That means higher costs for transportation and delivery.

Printing, addressing and postage cost us about $41,000 monthly — and that rises steadily. Our staff is small — only five full-time and three part-time workers. Yet the Chronicle is the principal news source among Churches of Christ. We’re blessed to have a growing readership for our print edition, reaching nearly 270,000 souls monthly. About 40,000 unique users per month read us online. Our email newsletter has 27,000 subscribers.

We cannot adequately express our gratitude for the years of faithful support that many of you have given to make our mission successful. But many readers never have contributed.

We would love to see that change.

“Just cancel my subscription and save money. I’ll read it online,” we often hear. In truth, removing print subscribers saves us little. And our online revenue — through advertising and donations — isn’t enough to sustain our mission.

Even with limited resources, our staff produces a service autonomous churches need. We have received more than 50 awards for writing, photography and design. Since 2009, we have received the prestigious Best in Class award from the Associated Church Press four times.

We remain committed to quality Christian journalism. Will you help make this a reality? Rarely do we use this page to appeal for financial support, but the need is real.

Please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to the Chronicle before year’s end. Please mail checks to The Christian Chronicle, Box 11000, Oklahoma City, OK 73136-1100 or find our easy-to-use donation form by clicking here.

Filed under: Editorial News Extras

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