KONA, Hawaii (BP)–The Association of State Baptist Papers adopted a statement of principles, pledging “to uphold the inviolability of the free flow of truth,” during their annual meeting, Jan. 12-15, in Kona, Hawaii.
“These standards are intended to be supportive and redemptive, the positive benchmarks for which we strive,” the preamble to the document states. “As an association, we commend them to the various governing bodies of our member publications. We recognize that each of these bodies is responsible for determining how it will use this document. However, we believe all of our members should strive to exemplify these principles.”
Six principles are delineated:
Kingdom-building: “Our relationship to Christ will guide us in the performance of our responsibilities. We seek to involve our readers in kingdom-building through our ministry of information, inspiration, interpretation and opinion;”
Truth-seeking and truth-telling: “We strive to seek and report the truth. We strive to be honest, fair and courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting information. Accuracy and balance will characterize our work. We will guard against bias and distortion;”
Relationships: “We seek to engender trust and to trust others, particularly the Baptist readers we serve;”
Accountability: “Even as we strive to produce materials of the highest quality, we will welcome questions and criticism of our work. We will admit mistakes and correct them promptly. We will attempt to hold the news services upon which we rely to the same high standards we set for ourselves;”
Independence: “We will strive to avoid conflicts of interest and to remain free of associations and activities that may compromise or damage our integrity. The guidance of God’s Holy Spirit and convictions growing from diligence to our task will guide us in editorial writing;”
Advertising: “In accepting advertising, our publications assume a responsibility not to defraud or mislead readers by what we publish. The products in the ads we publish will not conflict with the purposes of our publications.”
In another area, editors heard three presentations on the importance of leadership in the 21st century from William Crews, president of Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary, Mill Valley, Calif.
Crews cited five key assumptions about leadership: 1) Leadership is the most important issue. 2) The essence of leadership is influence. 3) The power of influence is vision. 4) The objective of vision is change. 5) The arena of change is always the future.
They also heard presentations from four SBC entity presidents: O.S. Hawkins, Annuity Board; James T. Draper Jr., LifeWay Christian Resources; Robert E. Reccord, North American Mission Board; and Morris H. Chapman, Executive Committee.
During a business session, editors authorized a study of the qualification of membership in the association. Bylaws currently describe member organizations as papers focusing on news content. Several editors noted two state conventions have discontinued their newspapers in favor of more feature-oriented magazines.
Pending the outcome of the study, members approved for membership the official magazine of the Arizona Southern Baptist Convention, “Portraits.” Editor Elizabeth Young has been an active participant as editor of the former newspaper, continuing with the transition to “Portraits.”
Young also was elected as president-elect of the association. Don Kirkland, editor of the Baptist Courier of South Carolina is the new president, effective April 1. Mark Wyatt, editor of the California Southern Baptist, will continue as president until April 1. Bob Terry, editor of The Alabama Baptist, serves as executive secretary.
The 2001 meeting will be held in Perdido Beach, Ala.