Is it ‘editorial independence’ or ‘editorial integrity’?

Published September 1, 2008

The Journal attempts to capture the ‘heartbeat’ of The Anglican Church of Canada, and is committed to doing so with integrity.

The Anglican Journal takes considerable pride in the fact that it is editorially independent. In fact, that editorial independence was mentioned numerous times by many people when I accepted this position as interim editor.

There is something challenging about editorial independence. It reminds me of the teenager who declared to his parents that he was ‘independent’ and that he had the right to make his own decisions. He repeatedly proclaimed his independence until, finally, the teen’s father said: “Okay, you’re independent; now what?”

So the Anglican Journal is editorially independent; now what?  How does the Journal exercise its independence? In a staff retreat, held two days after I started in this position, I suggested a new phrase: editorial integrity. The Journal’s award-winning editorial staff will continue to look at church issues with a critical eye. We will continue to do so with a strong sense of integrity.

It may surprise some people to realize that there is more to the Anglican Church of Canada than Church House and the 100 or so dedicated men and women who work here. There is even more to the ACC than the House of Bishops and Council of General Synod. The Anglican Church of Canada consists of those thousands of men, women and children who sit in the pews on Sundays, and the various ministers, priests and bishops who lead them. It consists of churches and parishes and dioceses and synods.

It would be simplistic to suggest that the Journal is a mirror of Anglicanism in Canada. Mirrors simply reflect the superficial “body of Christ.” The Journal tries to probe deeper. It attempts to capture the heartbeat, the very soul of the Anglican heart across this country. The Anglican Church of Canada has wide arms, embracing a wide range of theological perspectives with a wide range of cultural nuances. We want to help you hear those perspectives.

Even though the Anglican Journal is editorially independent and separately incorporated, it is in essence owned by the half a million readers – you! – who faithfully respond with letters to the editor and with financial gifts to keep us going. Yes, we’re editorially independent but if the Journal ever fails to tackle an issue with editorial integrity, we count on you to hold us accountable.


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