In a special collaboration with the Associated Church Press (ACP), the New Media Project at Union Theological Seminary in New York will conduct an unprecedented survey of ACP members in 2011 about the changing practice of religion journalism today.

Results will be shared at the April 27-29, 2011, annual ACP convention in Chicago.

The survey will explore how ACP member publications are adapting to changing patterns and tools of communication and the implications of those adaptations for their own mission, identity, and implementation. 

The survey will also inquire about the needs and challenges confronting member publications during this time of rapid change in religious life, communication practice, and journalism itself.

Funded by Lilly Endowment, the New Media Project is a two-year research-oriented project analyzing the massive shifts occurring in digital communication today. The project will explore how religious leaders employ new technologies, especially social media, to strengthen communities of faith.

This strengthening, the project proposes, will need to include more than technical know-how for building websites and using social media. It must also include larger, theologically grounded reflection on the lasting effect these technologies will have on the church and its global ministries. How the church's main communicators ― their journalists, editors, and publishers ― are thinking about these questions will be important to the project. 

The New Media Project director is Verity A. Jones who is currently the president of the Associated Church Press.  As a nationally recognized, award-winning leader in the field of church-related media, Jones spent seven years as the publisher and editor of DisciplesWorld, a journal for the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), which closed in early 2010. 

“The Associated Church Press is pleased to offer this important survey as a benefit of membership,” said ACP executive director Joe Thoma. “Results of the survey will be shared at the  annual ACP convention in Chicago and will be sent to members in the Spring of 2011.”

For more information, call the New Media Project at (317) 536-0730. 

Founded in 1916, the Associated Church Press is the largest and oldest Christian press association in North America.