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LDS Newsroom

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The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the Mormon, or LDS Church) has a website called One section of this website is LDS Newsroom. [1] Newsroom has statistical and background articles about the Church, news and news archives, and videos and photographs for use by the press. Information about humanitarian aid and welfare projects is also available at the newsroom.

There is background information on the following subjects: core beliefs and practices, education, history of the Church, family, family history work, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, growth of the Church, biographies of church leaders, the missionary program, the organization of the Church, race relations, and temples. Statistical information is available for all the countries where the Church has a presence, and all the states of the U.S.A.

Most recently, a Church blog has been added [2] The site has this to say about the blog:

The Public Affairs Department is pleased to announce the launch of the Newsroom Blog today with this first blog post. For nearly 10 years, has provided official news and information for journalists, opinion leaders and the public, and it will continue to do so. The purpose of this blog is to supplement the Newsroom Web site with additional stories from the Church that may not lend themselves to a news release, and to provide additional context and background on stories that appear in the news media.
You may notice a different, more conversational tone on this blog than you would see in official news releases on the Newsroom Web site. This blog will be managed and written by staff of the Public Affairs Department of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The information here will be reliable and accurate but should not necessarily be viewed as official statements from the Church. The purpose of this blog is to provide journalists, bloggers and the public with additional context and information regarding public issues and news stories involving the Church.

LDS Newsroom Purposes and Policies began as a few years prior to the 2002 Winter Olympics. The primary goal was to provide resources to the thousands of journalists who covered the Church during the Olympic period. That original site was translated daily into 14 languages and included about 100 pre-written story packages for the international media to use when covering the Church. While the main focus was the Olympics, the site was created at a time when the Church was starting to develop a strong Internet presence.

The media site was and has always been a Public Affairs project. It's unique among Church sites in that its primary audience is not necessarily Church members or those who are considering joining the Church, but news media, opinion leaders, and the public. The original site was directed more exclusively towards the news media than other opinion leaders and the public. tries to reach a broader audience to adapt to the Web 2.0 world and the emergence of social media, recognizing that those technologies have enabled many more people to shape opinion. is an official source for information about the Church. Like Church publications, such as the Ensign, Newsroom accurately represents the beliefs, policies and practices of the Church. Even though attribution is not given for articles on, all items posted on the site follow a thorough review process so they can be reliable and official information. The focus for Newsroom content is to help news media, opinion leaders and the public understand the Church. It is written specifically with those audiences in mind. Newsroom content should be helpful to Church members in understanding and explaining public issues related to the Church. But there are other, excellent Church sites that provide gospel-related information specifically for Church members.

One of the great things about new media and the Internet is that it allows organizations (and individuals) to provide additional context and clarity on an issue or story that is often lacking in mainstream media news stories, because of space and other constraints. The Commentary section on Newsroom, for example, gives more background on issues where just a quote or sound bite in the news doesn't fully explain the issue. Posts on Newsroom do provide a Church perspective and an official voice helping to explain an issue, but they can be different than an authoritative statement from Church leaders. Some content posted on Newsroom is clearly labeled as being an official statement from the Church in general or from the First Presidency in particular. Other content, such as the "Divine Institution of Marriage," is carefully reviewed and sometimes edited by the First Presidency or the Quorum of the Twelve, but not labeled as such.

Public Affairs periodically addresses an issue when a story breaks in the news media that requires an official response or simply more context and clarification. "Answering Media Questions About Jesus and Satan" is an example of that. Other commentary topics cover issues that arise repeatedly and are not necessarily driven by current news events. These are intended to remain on Newsroom as background for journalists, bloggers and others who visit the site.

One of the ways the site is changing is that, in addition to providing resources for the news media to use in their stories, Newsroom has become a news source in itself, which is just as accessible as any news website.

As far as addressing the disparate concerns of church members abroad and church members in the United States, Public Affairs has offices in areas of the Church throughout the world that respond to questions from the news media in their own areas. One of the primary challenges is that, generally speaking, media outside the United States are less familiar with the Church than U.S. media. The Church has established many Country Web sites to engage with the media locally.

Public Affairs has been watching social media closely since it emerged. They are constantly working on adapting Newsroom to better function in a new media environment. They are currently working on some specific changes to the LDS Newsroom site, in addition to some that have made recently, which have included adding social media sharing features. Video will be important in the future. They intend to produce more of it and to continue to make it downloadable and sharable. There will likely be more in-depth, video-rich stories like Newsroom produced about Church members in Texas. It is also anticipate that the site will become more "conversational." Elder M. Russell Ballard's emphasis on Church members using new media is having an impact. For instance, according to Blogpulse, President Hinckley was the 3rd most mentioned individual in the blogosphere the day after he passed away. There are also thousands of blogs that are linking back to the newsroom site. One of the new Newsroom audiences is Church members who are using new media. Newsroom tries to provide content that helps them to discuss the Church with their own audiences. How and when the Church will begin blogging officially has been discussed, but is yet to be determined (12 Questions for the LDS Newsroom, Times and

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