United Methodist Communications
Office of Public Information
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 25, 2022
Freedom of the press helps inform and inspire
World Press Freedom Day is Tuesday, May 3, 2022, a day of support for and awareness of the importance of freedom of the press.
For The United Methodist Church, World Press Freedom Day provides an opportunity to celebrate United Methodist News, the official news gathering agency of the church. Staffed by experienced, professional journalists with insights and knowledge of the denomination, UM News is committed to representing the diverse faces and voices of the 13-million-member global church.
Tim Tanton, chief news officer, said telling the stories of the church is both a mission and a sacred responsibility that inspires people as well as informs them. "More than ever, people need to hear, see, and read stories about how God is at work."
UM News provides a way for the global church to learn how the UMC is engaged in events and issues affecting the world today, from the church's response to the pandemic to efforts to confront and dismantle racism. The team reports on breaking news, provides commentaries and analysis, and shares feature stories about people of faith making a difference.
To support the essential work of UM News and other communication ministries of United Methodist Communications – in observance of World Press Freedom Day - church members can make a financial gift at ResourceUMC.org/GiveUMCom. Donations help to share how God is at work doing powerful, redeeming, transformative ministry through The United Methodist Church.
"One of the most important things we do at UM News is to keep the church informed with reliable, thorough, unbiased information," Tanton said. "Having reliable information that people can turn to is critically important. We strive to identify the questions that are on people's minds and answer those with stories and FAQs that provide insight and dispel misinformation. The church needs reliable information – even when that information makes us uncomfortable."
During times of tragedy and unrest, UM News reports on ways the church is making an impact. Many church members want to help, to make a difference. "The work we do is a ministry - with news and information. We connect people with possibilities, not just identify problems," Tanton said. "We provide calls to action and ways the audience can respond to a situation and tangible ways they can be the hands and feet of Jesus.
"When something is happening across the globe, we start from a place of being connected," said Tanton. "The United Methodist Church is present in so many parts of the world, with a system that includes local conferences and churches poised to respond to situations and challenges. By working with people across the connection, we are able to report on how United Methodists are making a difference in often difficult situations."
Reporting news globally – and in multiple languages – is a priority. UM News shares information and news in English, Spanish, Korean, Portuguese, and French.
"Knowing what is happening in our community – whether that's in Zimbabwe, the Philippines, the United States, Germany, or, most recently, Ukraine and Russia – is critically important. And the information must be unbiased in order for people to be fully informed," said Tanton.
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About United Methodist News Service
United Methodist News is a trusted and timely official source of comprehensive information and news about The United Methodist Church. Through UMNews.org, social media, and weekly and daily e-newsletters, UM News provides in-depth, thought-provoking multimedia coverage that facilitates a deeper understanding of our global connection. United Methodist News is a ministry of United Methodist Communications. Learn how to support communication ministry at ResourceUMC.org/GiveUMCom.
Aaron Crisler [email protected]