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Mormon News: All the News about Mormons, Mormonism and the LDS Church
For week ended February 13, 2000 Posted 24 Feb 2001
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Summarized by Kent Larsen

Major Religion Website Includes Mormon Page . . . Under Christianity
Kent Larsen 9Feb00 N1

Former U.S. News & World Report editor Steven Waldman and his partner, founding publisher of the former New England Monthly Robert Nylen saw an opportunity on the Internet, and have attacked it in a big way. In the process they have classified Mormons exactly where most prefer to be -- under Christianity. Last month Waldman's company launched, a website that seeks to include all the world's principal religions and belief systems in one site.

The site targets a multifaith audience with magazine-style news, advice and inspirational writing from nearly every religious perspective. The site includes main pages for 32 different religious traditions, including Mormonism, which is one of four groups listed under Christianity (the others are Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy and Protestantism).

"Its a very well-designed site, and they seem to have leapfrogged over what else is out there. I've never heard of another aggregator who cuts across all these different sectors and is a portal for all religions," says Jill Franke, director of retail research at Gomez Advisors of Lincoln, an e-commerce analysis firm. "Getting visitors is the key and having leading religion writers and columnists should attract strong participation from religious communities."

The site's Mormon page is no exception, attracting the Salt Lake Tribune's religion reporter Peggy Fletcher Stack as its editor. Stack has persuaded author Orson Scott Card, sociologist Jan Shipps and author Linda Hoffman Kimball to write regular columns for the page, and has drawn contributions from other well-known LDS writers and personalities.

The page currently features an essay by Salt Lake Olympic Committee President W. Mitt Romney on how his father used the Doctrine and Covenants during a gubernatorial campaign. Romney is the son of former Michigan governor and one-time presidential candidate George Romney.

Stack admits that the page is still somewhat a "work in progress," but says that it will all work out. She was invited to edit the Mormon page by Christianity editor Debbie Caldwell, a former religion writer for the Dallas Morning News.

Fortunately Stack didn't have to fight for Mormonism to get its position under Christianity, "It was their call from the beginning and they have been completely committed to that," says Stack. But the decision hasn't been without criticism. Several readers have already criticized the placement, claiming that Mormons are not Christian, "Now there is a long discussion going on about the topic on the Mormon page. For the most part, it seems to be fairly civil," says Stack.

See Also:

Religion Web Sites a Medium without much Message
Chicago Tribune 28Jan00 N6
By Steve Kloehn

Religion Web site of the week: beliefnet
Ft Worth TX Star-Telegram (Charlotte Observer) 27Jan00 N6
By Tim Funk: The Charlotte Observer

Web site calls attention to all religions
Boston Globe 27Jan00 N6
By William A. Davis: Globe Staff

Religion Web site of the week: beliefnet
Ft Worth TX Star-Telegram (Charlotte Observer) 27Jan00 N6
By Tim Funk: The Charlotte Observer


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