It’s 10am. Mission Network News’ Katrina Green is on the phone with TransWorld Radio’s Steve Shantz. It is Steve’s goal to broadcast the hope of Jesus Christ in the midst of the Venezuelan crisis. It is Katrina’s goal to show people how to pray for the situation and for TWR’s efforts to give the people hope. By 5pm, their conversation will have become a story set to air the next day on Christian radio stations around the world – and the next day people are PRAYING.
This is a typical routine for a writer with Mission Network News (MNN), a Christian radio ministry that became part of the OneWay Ministries’ family in 2016. This team, headed up by Executive Producer, Ruth K, produces daily content to inform people worldwide of events concerning the global Church. Their goal is to provide opportunities for Christians all around the world to pray, give, and go.
Because the writing staff lives all over the country, the newsroom is virtual. For a typical newsroom, the first meeting of the day is the news meeting, which for MNN, starts at 9am Eastern, in the online Slack newsroom, and lasts for about 20 to 45 minutes.
During this time, everyone involved in the writing process discusses possible news stories, ideas and gets their writing assignments. To catch the latest breaking news, MNN must monitor global news agencies such as Reuters, BBC, the Associated Press and the State Department. Any news headlines, analysis or other ideas sends MNN to missions partners connected to the various events.
Ruth typically spends the first two hours of the morning before the news meeting, researching, contacting, and conducting partners for interviews. She, along with the team, also get daily email newsletters from partners, along with story tips from them and monitors their social media pages to stay up-to-date on the current events.
Each writer has an assigned beat (story) to cover and receives information through interviews from Christian organizations that partner with MNN. Katrina Green, associate producer and staff writer, spends her day pulling in interviews, creating a broadcast piece and writing for the web, organizing the stringers – part-time writers – making certain that everything is ready for production, and she produces the 2-minute broadcast. An average day, she says, lasts until 4:30-5pm in the evening.
Once the writing is complete, the broadcast script and its actualities are posted in the Google Drive newsroom. Ruth pulls everything down, fine tunes scripts and cuts, anchors the broadcast, mixes everything down and sends the daily 4.5-minute, 1-minute and promo to the servers where news outlets around the world grab them. When everyone finishes posting their web stories, there’s social media to handle and the final edit from Alex Anhalt. It’s a full day!
Here’s why they do what they do: “[Christians] can’t be involved in the Great Commission until they know what’s going on, and that’s what MNN does,” Katrina says.
The team is small, but the daily content they produce is impressive. Ruth compares MNN to a bumblebee. Mechanically, this stocky little insect should be incapable of flight. Yet, it flies with remarkable energy and focus.
“The message we share has more going for it than the mechanics of business,” says Ruth. “Our scope is felt in the white space between the swirling eddies of grace and action.”
Like the bumblebee, MNN doesn’t follow the prescribed course for growth. Yet, God continues to strategically use this news team to mobilize people around the world for Great Commission work.
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