Break out the cake and ice cream. The electronic version of the Church News had a birthday recently, turning the ripe old age of 2, and there is cause to celebrate.
The World Wide Web edition of the Church News, accessed via the Internet at (www.ldschurchnews.com), began its on-line journey in December 1995 in large part due to the talents of Stewart Shelline, director of New Media for the Deseret News, and Cory Maylett, the department's creative director.Sample a few e-mail messages from around the globe:
- "I have been a subscriber to the Church News for almost 19 years. . . . I was very excited when the Church News went online because that meant those of us who live outside of Utah and the United States don't have to wait three or more weeks to read it. Being able to . . . get the latest information on what's happening, what the prophet and other General Authorities are saying, etc., has been extremely helpful." - British Columbia, Canada.
- "I enjoy . . . being able to go anywhere in the paper directly from whatever article I'm reading." - Pago Pago, American Samoa.
- "I'm glad to find all these resources online, they're quite encouraging and supportive." - Montreal, Canada.
- "Even though I subscribe to the Church News, it's great to have it electronically available. I'm often at the computer and online . . . and it will be an easy way to catch up . . . more frequently and conveniently." - Gilbert, Ariz.
Brother Shelline, a computer programmer and innovator in on-line media organization, says the site is an important resource for Latter-day Saints, especially if they live in geographically remote areas of the world.
"We have become a much smaller world with the advent of the Internet and other technological advances," he said. "One of our goals with the Church News Web Edition is to provide it to those who wouldn't otherwise have access."
He said the idea of having access to complete transcripts from general conference speakers (and other special events, such as the recent First Presidency Christmas Devotional) is a logical step in providing information via the Internet - a medium not traditionally restricted by space limitations, like a newspaper or magazine.
The current week's issue is available each Saturday morning, with one obvious difference: the Web Edition is available instantly at that time to anyone in the world with a computer and Internet access.
While the two main articles (Cover Story and Center Stage) of the Church News Web Edition are available to anyone who visits the site, other sections of the on-line version are exclusive to registered subscribers.
However, the link to the "LDS General Conference" page, which includes features and articles and contains full transcripts of conference addresses back to October 1996, is accessible to everyone.
A registration page is offered to answer questions about accessing the complete service of the on-line Church News. Please e-mail questions or comments to ([email protected]).
A customer service representative is also available Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m to 4:30 p.m. MST at (801) 236-6092 or 1-800-710-7141.