From Weekly to World
Biweekly MWR blends tradition, new voices
A year ago we announced Mennonite Weekly Review would become Mennonite World Review on April 2, 2012. Now you are reading the first issue of the new MWR. You’ll find it is both familiar and different.
Familiar because it continues a 90-year journalistic tradition based on a vision of unity among Mennonites, so often divided by culture and theology.
Familiar because that old-fashioned font at the top of the front page says this is a newspaper that’s been around a while.
Different, most obviously, because it is biweekly. This is an adjustment to economic realities. Print journalism today is in trouble. Declining circulation and shrinking ad revenue threaten the existence of newspapers as we have known them. The Internet has broken newspapers’ business model, and no one has found the fix. Amid a revolution comparable to Gutenberg’s invention of movable type, publishers are trying to find the right place for print in a digital age.
For MWR, the right place is every other week. There are two main reasons for this.
First, we need to manage our finances wisely. It is no longer good stewardship to print and mail 46 times a year. Postage costs were consuming 25 percent of income from subscriptions and advertising.
Now we will spend less on delivery and more on producing a larger and better newspaper.
Second, timely news online makes weekly mailing less essential. MWR’s website offers news faster than a weekly paper ever could. We invite readers to visit mennoworld.org not only for news but also for the diverse writers on our blog, The World Together.
Despite the website’s speed and interactivity, it doesn’t pay the bills. Print subscribers keep MWR’s ministry viable.
MWR’s new name drops an emphasis on frequency and adds a new focus on our mission: “Putting the Mennonite world together.” We’ve used that slogan for years. But the new name implies we will cover the world better than ever. We’re embracing that goal in a new phrase that appears on page 2 and online: “An independent news source serving Mennonites and the global Anabaptist movement.”
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