Letters to the Editor: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

It is always a pleasure to hear from a reader who has enjoyed a recent article, and it is my
privilege to share those emails and letters with Christian Activities readers from time to time. To all who have
encouraged us with a kind word, I want to express my heartiest “thank you!” You do not realize what a gigantic boost a kind letter, call or email gives us!
I am also pleased to try to post questions from readers and to try to help answer them with
the help of Christian Activities readers and want to encourage readers to let me know if
there is something I can try to help you with.
It would be remiss of me not to admit we also get frequent emails that are critical.
Sometimes these emails will come with a challenge to post them, and on occasion I have if
I thought the content merited posting. However, I will admit that usually I do not share
these emails with Christian Activities readers. The reasons are fairly simple.
First and foremost, I try to keep Christian Activities a fairly positive spot in a negative world. Most of the critical emails I receive are simply negative with no constructive value.
Second, while Christian Activities does seek to deal with issues impacting the body of Christ, we are primarily a
publication dedicated to Christian Arts and Entertainment. When I receive a vitriolic email lambasting me for posting a story about Rich Mullins as opposed to articles about
Creation Theory, I realize that writer has not taken the time to ascertain what our purpose is.
Third, the majority of the complaints come from people who want Christian Activities to provide more free services but are unwilling to underwrite us. One
recent writer complained that he could not use the word search feature on his computer on
our website. There is not much I can do about that.
More troubling to me are the frequent emails we get from our partners in Christian work
and our peers in the industry. People must not realize the as editor and publisher, I
receive an average of 20 – 30 requests on a daily basis to cover Christian artists, Christian projects, Christian events and Christian businesses… and I receive many other
requests that have little to do with Christian music at all. Frequently these requests are followed by rather incredulous or even hostile notes or calls if I suggest they consider
advertising. “You call yourself a Christian paper – you should WANT to cover our Christian coffeehouse” a local business told me in anger. This same business charged me for food every time I ate there and never once thought that as a Christian cafe, they should WANT to feed me… for free.
Our own media partners have complained on numerous occasion that I sometimes run file
photos that are a year or more old, and I have received numerous requests (many of which border on or become demands) that I post new artist photos. These demands come from record companies that might be spending
money on other publications so they can print more photos, or on other websites so they can afford to pay their web designers to do daily
updates… but they are not supporting Christian Activities.
For those who are unhappy that we do not run every article, every feature and every new
photo we are sent, I can only suggest that you remember our services are free, yet I still
have to pay to maintain the website, publish the print version, cover utilities, office supplies, other business expenses and still stay
afloat. If those who criticize our lack of services or updates would help underwrite Christian Activities, then we could afford to run more
articles, update more photos, and maybe even add a word search feature or article on Creation Theory to our website.
Just something to think about,
Kathryn E. Darden
Christian Activities


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