The Church of England’s Daily Digest provides an across-the-board snapshot of the recent media outpourings, both laudatory and critical, of the activities and initiative of the Church. Today the Press Office published Guidelines on Daily Digest Compilation, the text of which is reproduced below. The Daily Digest is of interest to both those wishing an edited update of issues affecting the Church, and to those within the media who use and generate articles in this area.
The purpose of the Daily Digest is “to provide a short digest of articles in print and digital media [including blogs] which comment on the Church of England or relate to the Church”. The Digest is sent to its >2,500 subscribers prior to digital publication on the Church’s website and social media, and details of the process of selection of material and the relevant deadlines are summarized in the Guidelines.
From the perspective of L&RUK, the Guidelines provide information much of which we were already aware, or had deduced from a daily reading of the content of the Digest. Not all of our posts are newsworthy or a concern of the Church of England; however citation in the Daily Digest with its 2,500 subscribers (and much wider general readership) provides a valuable addition to our own subscribers, Twitter followers, and citation by other internet sites.
Its requirements re: the timely nature of blogs aligns with our editorial policy for the material we include, and likewise our decisions to publish are influenced by similar considerations such as the availability of relevant news on any given day. We would encourage all our readers with an interest in CofE affairs to subscribe this service, freely available via the link below.
Guidelines on Daily Digest Compilation
02 August 2016
The purpose of the Daily Digest is to provide a short digest of articles in print and digital media which comment on the Church of England or relate to the Church. The aim is to send the daily media digest out by 8am each morning on week days and by midday on weekends.
The digest is sent to a list of over 2,500 subscribers (sign up is free https://www.churchofengland.org/media-centre.aspx) prior to digital publication on our website and social media.
A daily report on articles appearing on print and digital media relating to the Church is compiled on a search of keywords terms and arrives at 5am each morning to the initial compiler of the digest. A draft digest is then produced. This is checked and edited prior to sending to subscribers (between 7.30am – 8 am on weekdays) and publication (at approximately 9am via the Church of England website and twitter account).
Editorial decisions as to which news reports are included in the daily digest are a matter for the complier and editor. Decisions are influenced by practical considerations such as time for compilation and edit and the number of news reports on any given day.
It is not the aim of the digest to provide a signpost to all the commentary being offered by individuals or campaigning groups on their own sites about Church of England matters.
Given the daily deadlines which need to be adhered to in order to produce the Digest there is a need to be necessarily selective to which blogs appear. Currently Blogs are identified in two ways:
First through the daily keyword compilation report which highlights certain blogs via algorithmic keyword search. Secondly (and particularly where very few blogs have been identified in the daily report) a list of regular bloggers is maintained which is used to supplement the search report. That list is based on those who blog frequently and who blog mainly about Church of England issues. The list is regularly reviewed and updated.
There is no policy to prefer certain bloggers. The general rule is that blogs must be timely (not more than a day old) and relate to Church issues. Consequently it is the frequency of blogging, rather than whether a blogger takes a particular stance or point of view which is determinative.
The only blogs which are guaranteed insertion are those from either Archbishops and those appearing on the communication office’s own blog which hosts a number of authors often writing about work or issues which are being promoted by the NCIs.
As with the selection of news content editorial decisions are a matter for the Communications Office team. The aim is to be balanced and the team is always open to ideas for doing better.
Good News/Bad News:
The daily digest carries a number of articles each day some of which will be critical of the parishes or dioceses of the Church of England, its Archbishops, the Church Commissioners, Archbishops’ Council or Pensions Board. Anyone reading the digest regularly would recognise that a wide range of coverage is reflected in the digest’s content not all of which will reflect well on the Church but rather reflects what is being reported in print and digital media.
Readers of the digest are generally keen eyed and quick to spot errors – whether they be incorrect abbreviations, grammatical errors, incorrect punctuation or spelling errors. On the whole there are fewer major errors in relation to content but mistakes and misjudgements will occur from time to time. We are hopeful these will remain the exception rather than the rule.
It’s right and good that L&RUK is almost always included, under these criteria. Although 2,500 is a decent number, it’s a pity that more clergy (and involved laity) do not subscribe to the Digest, which points us to articles in newspapers we would not otherwise see, and helpfully fillets the religious news for speedy consumption.
Thanks for your comments about L&RUK Michael. I also agree that more clergy and involved laity would benefit from subscribing. Although the CofE Twitter has 62.7k followers, I suppose that this fulfils a different function.
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