An Overview of the Commission

Click topics below for details on the Commission's work:

Officers, Committees, Staff

Membership Directory

Commission Meetings

Media Advocacy / Education

Network TV Programming

Worldwide Faith News

Links for Communicators

Religion Calendar

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About the National Council of Churches USA

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About the Commission
Contact Dee Glover (212-870-2227), Philip Jenks (212-870-2228), or Jerry Van Marter, chair (502-569-5493)
National Council of Churches USA
475 Riverside Drive, Suite 800
New York, NY 10015
Fax: 212-870-2030

The Church and Media:
An NCC Policy Guide

Past Commission Reports:
2005  2004  2003  2002

The Communication Commission is one of the five program commissions of the National Council of Churches, the leading organization for ecumenical cooperation among Christian denominations in the United States. 

Participants in the Communication Commission work in the fields of print, film, broadcast, media relations, news services and web for national Christian denominations

  The Commission's members are professional communicators in the U.S. and Canada who work in print, broadcast, film, web, news, marketing, media relations and other communication tasks -- usually on the national level -- for member communions of the National Council of Churches and a number of non-NCC faith groups as well.  Regional councils of churches across the nation also participate, through representatives chosen by them. For a list of current Commission members and their communions, click here.

OBJECTIVES. The Commission seeks to be a

  • professional development resource, providing participants with opportunities for fellowship, "best practices" learning and public service, and a source of policy guidance for the churches in the field of media.
  • channel of collaboration, coordination and mutual benefit among member denominations doing parallel tasks in communication, and helping them give public voice to priority concerns of the ecumenical community.
  • ethical and educational force in the communication field, emphasizing democratic access to mass media and fairness in programming and news coverage of all public issues, including those dealing with religion.

STRUCTURE.  The Commission carries out its work under the leadership of an executive committee composed of four general officers and the chairs of several task-specific work groups:

  • news and media relations officers
  • web managers
  • television, radio and film producers
  • marketing and promotion managers
  • media research, education and advocacy personnel
  • chief communication officers of the participating denominations

MEETINGS.  The full Commission meets once a year, usually in the fall.  Click here for a current schedule.  These sessions are often scheduled to coincide with other national faith-based communication gatherings, to reduce travel costs and maximize networking opportunities for Commission members.  Some of the events held in connection with recent Commission meetings include the Religion Communicators Council,  Odyssey Networks Member Association, Everett C. Parker Ethics in Telecommunications Lectures, the National Conference on Media Reform, and the World Association of Christian Communication

SERVICE PROJECTS. The Commission provides a means for its members to channel their talents and energies into a variety of collaborative service projects that meet spiritual, professional and societal needs. Among the current service activities of the Commission are:

  • Media Advocacy, where faith communicators can join together to challenge inequities of media access for disadvantaged groups; media programming or editorial priorities; industry or government policies; and other issues between market and medium, in the light of religious values.
  • Media Education, an effort to provide materials for congregations and faith-group leaders on consumer issues and values related to communication in today's society.  The Commission produced a detailed policy guide for the church and media, which is available for download on this website.
  • Network Television Programming, allowing the Commission's participating faith groups to provide ABC, NBC and CBS network affiliates with documentaries and seasonal liturgical programs.
  • Worldwide Faith News, a web-based venture which allows faith groups from all over the world to post their news releases, gaining equal access to mainstream news coverage.

MORE DETAILS. You are invited to use the quick reference links at the left to explore the work of the Communication Commission in detail, and read the Commission's web-based annual reports for 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2005.

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