Survey Says . . .
According to the self-study survey sent out by P&R News, its readers, overwhelmingly, are appreciative of the newspaper. The tabulated responses, through May 5, 1999, indicate that more than eighty-five percent of those who returned the survey rated the newspaper either a "3" or a "4" in terms of overall performance.
The highest marks on the individual categories were for General Assembly coverage, Presbyteries coverage, and Interviews. In terms of which ones our readers looked at first, the most popular categories were News stories, Presbyteries, and Feature stories.
For the most part, the views represented are from churches and individuals that do not sponsor the news service. (With a few exceptions, the surveys were not distributed to the churches which are sponsors.)
The final percentages were as follows:
Rate on scale of 0-4 (Awful to Outstanding)
|General Assembly coverage||0.7||3.4||8.1||41.2||46.6|
Which One Do You Look for First? [Note: many of our readers circled more than one category. The percentages were arrived at by adding up all of the "votes" for a particular category, and dividing that number by the total number of "votes."]
|General Assembly coverage||14.1|
The Personal Touch
P&R News is honored by the unexpectedly high number of responses which we received to the survey, and we thank our readers for participating. We also asked for any feedback which you would like to give us, and we have printed a representative selection of your comments below. We have placed all of the comments on our website.
- "This publication, together with World, help me to sort through the garbage contained in the media coverage & the news. It also helps me to keep in touch with what our Lord is pleased to continue to do in the PCA."
- "Sometimes your conservative bias is too nit-picky, however, the latest issue was tops. I wonder if anyone reads the part on the Presbyteries other than those from each of the presbyteries."
- "I enjoy the news. There is nothing else in the PCA that allows us to learn what others are up to. But I don't find your coverage trustworthy. I have found the reporting to be misleading. Your publication is generally not good for the health of the church."
- "Please continue the good, honest, reporting. Our denomination is always in danger of slipping away from our Biblical roots!"
- "Would appreciate your sending 10 copies for distribution for our officers." [Check enclosed - Ed.]
- "Far too many stories on the negative news of our churches (i.e. alleged violations of our standards) and not enough positive that churches are doing."
- "I'd like to see more 'eyewitness' accounts of worship services at local PCA churches. You did that once, and it was very revealing. You do an excellent job at uncovering the apparently widespread naked disobedience to the Westminster Standards across the PCA. Before we congratulate ourselves on being a 'fast-growing denomination', we should ask, 'just what kind of churches are we creating?'"
- "I read it front to back"
- "Must take great care not to focus on controversies, or to slant in the reporting thereof." [Regarding our "News stories":] "Very slanted most of time. Air of stirring dissension."
- "On the other side of this sheet, you say that you want to report aggressively but charitably. I think you're following that goal-good for you!"
- "I am sometimes disturbed by the tone of editorials and articles which reflect sarcasm and lack of love and respect toward Christian brothers who may not agree with you on issues. It is one thing to simply state your case in a straightforward, factual manner. It is far different and shows lack of maturity to make ad hominum arguments by ridiculing the people with whom you differ.
- "Don't let criticism get to you. Keep up the good work!"
- "I don't usually agree with point of view. . . . You clearly have an agenda-to move the PCA to a more traditional mode. It is not a point of view I totally share-but I appreciate the opportunity to learn about what is going on. This last issue was excellent. Very important to keep the paper going."
- "I'm not in the PCA, but I believe you give fair treatment in reporting."
- "Your ultra conservative biases make it impossible for you to be fair."
- "We appreciate the hard work that goes into each issue. We also appreciate your sincere efforts to be fair, even to people and positions which diverge from your editorial positions."
- "Please persevere. This is a blessing but also a necessity for PCA; lovingly critique (PCA & we all need it)."
- "Our church has needed a NATIONAL COVERAGE since we are National!! Thank you for trying to furnish what we need since the PCA Messenger gave up. Just be careful not to get entangled with modern day Humanism! Stick to the Word of God. God bless your work!!"
- "You provide a great service. As a PCA army chaplain I don't always get the pulse of the PCA. Your paper helps. Thanks.
- "Being a missionary.I am out of the flow of Presbytery and GA. All of the above [categories of stories] have been helpful in keeping 'in touch'"
- "I'd like to see more focus on uplifting news. I value the critical pieces, but am dubious about the fairness of them at times, & I think that the concern about deviations is so great that it gives a distorted picture of the PCA."
- ".I like to be alerted to situations in the PCA which are a departure from the true worship of God, etc. The format is good, & I think you try to be fair in controversial matters."
- "This paper is absolutely necessary in the PCA to prevent its drift into the status quo of American churches and into being a non-separatist, non-confronting and bureaucratic non-Reformed church."
- "My view is that you seriously lack in objectivity."
- "I would like to see the opinion page expanded-more pertinent comments/interpretations of the latest developments in the down-grade of the PCA. Keep up the good work-your latest paper was very good-great improvements in format, etc."
- "My chief concerns are use of innuendo and imputing motives to others-and I suppose the overall antagonistic tone to those with whom you disagree. The love that hopes all things is not evident."
- "You are doing well. You will never please those of a more non-Reformed bent. They do not want their activities scrutinized and exposed to the light!"
- "Don't change a thing."
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The survey of readers of Presbyte