Editorial Policy


Canada Lutheran is the magazine of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada, and therefore is required to interpret and uphold the church's confession of faith, the constitution and the actions of the church.

The magazine shall speak to the needs of the total constituency of the church in its diversity by:

  1. enunciating the Christian faith and relating it to people's lives;
  2. fostering understanding of the mission and ministry of the church;
  3. reporting significant news and information to the church and its constituency;
  4. providing a forum for the responsible debate and discussion of issues important to the life of the church and its people;
  5. offering informed editorial content about relevant problems, needs, and concerns in the church and in the world as related to Christian faith;
  6. acquainting the members of the church with the leadership and institutions of the church; and
  7. publishing official notices as required by the constitution, bylaws and other resolutions of the ELCIC.

Canada Lutheran belongs to the people of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada; it does not belong to the editorial staff or to any one or more structures of the church. The editorial freedom of the magazine is best understood as the right of church members to be informed about the church's life and work.

Coupled with editorial freedom must be a sense of responsibility and accountability on the part of the magazine's staff to the church and its members. In this context, Canada Lutheran staff represents readers in gathering information, in raising questions, and in reflecting varied viewpoints. The credibility of Canada Lutheran depends in part on its ability to discuss openly issues within the church. The staff can expect cooperation, support, and openness from leaders whose concerns and actions it is to present. In turn, the staff is expected to report accurately the decisions and activities of the church, including its meetings, officers, units, councils, boards and committees, synods, congregations and other entities.

The Editor shall ensure that nothing is published in Canada Lutheran that is libelous. Libel is the publication of a false or damaging statement and is part of the broader legal category known as defamation.

Defamation is a statement that tends to lower a person in the opinion of others, or exposes the person to hatred, contempt or ridicule. Defamation is also a statement that injures another's reputation in a way that affects that person's livelihood-work, trade or profession.

When a story is known to be in contempt of court, it shall not be published. If contempt is suspected, legal counsel shall be sought.

When a story is known or thought to be public but is under review by the ELCIC, the Editor must respect the confidentiality of the situation and refrain from reporting it until the reviewing body releases a statement. When questions of interpretation arise, the Editor shall consult with either the Secretary or the Bishop.

When someone in the church has been charged with a criminal offense, and it is deemed that the information would benefit the public, the Editor may, with legal advice, report on the item prior to trial. For any matters before the court, the Editor shall receive legal advice before reporting the case.

The Editor is authorized to present, in the pages of the magazine, articles and statements of opinion reflecting responsible concern for relevant issues. These articles and opinion columns are not to be regarded as official statements of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada. The columns of the periodical also shall be open to those who hold cogent and responsible opposing opinions but the Editor shall exercise final judgement on which expressions shall be given space in the magazine. In those rare cases where there might be a serious challenge to the Editor's decision, an appeal can be made to a three-member ad hoc "editorial commission" appointed by the Bishop, the Secretary and the Editor. This ad hoc committee shall include a person who is not a member of any unit, office or agency of this church.

In all matters, the concept of "speaking the truth in love" must prevail.

Advertising

  1. It is the policy of Canada Lutheran to carry advertising as a service to the church.
  2. All advertisements published in the magazine must conform to the conditions within this policy statement as interpreted by the Editor. When questions of interpretation arise, the Editor shall consult with either the Secretary or the Bishop.
  3. This magazine rejects the advertising of tobacco products, alcoholic beverages, carbonated drinks if advertised as mixers, drug paraphenalia, and that which promotes any form of gambling.
  4. Where advertising may conflict with the interests of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada, as for example, the solicitation of funds for causes that either duplicate existing programs of the ELCIC or conflict with them, such advertising shall be discouraged and exceptions made only at the discretion of the Editor in consultation with either the Secretary or the Bishop.
  5. As a general practice not more than 25% of the total space shall be used for advertising in any one issue.
  6. Advertising rates may be revised in consultation with the Secretary and Treasurer. New rate schedules or notice of intent re rate changes shall be submitted to its advertising clients or may be announced in the magazine in advance of such effective change.
  7. The magazine and its editorial staff accept no direct responsibility for any product or service advertised, but complaints may be drawn to the attention of the Editor.
  8. The mailing list of this magazine's subscribers shall not be given out to, or shared with any agency, firm or business unless it is operated under the auspices of the ELCIC, and then only with the approval of the Secretary or the Bishop.

CC-00-114 - Replaces Editorial Guidelines (CC90-142) and Advertising Policy (OC 6/93).