To print or not to print … that’s the answer – So, what was the question?

hollis-for-hollistorial-adj-clippedby Hollis Hiscock

One Saturday morning in June I am standing outside the main door of Christ’s Church Cathedral Hamilton, holding two cameras to snap digital photos.

The picture from the first camera will streak across the internet within seconds of being uploaded. The second camera will store the images for over a month until I decide which ones will grace the story about a bishop cycling across Canada.

It illustrates for me where we are in what is constantly being discussed as the “print-digital divide”.

The divide is not a current era Catch-22; it has been faced throughout history, even though the objects and circumstances may vary according to human circumstances and developments.

Perhaps William Shakespeare in his play Hamlet (Act lll, Scene 1) started the ball rolling centuries ago when he penned, “To be or not to be: that is the question”.

Supposing William had left out the word ‘not’. Then, throughout these years we would have had to ponder and apply the significance of the query, “To be or to be: that is the question.” Would his phrase still be quoted in the 21st century? What would scholars deduce? Would it have altered the path of humanity?

Nevertheless, William did write, “to be or not to be” and I have turned his idiom into “to print or not to print”. He asked a question, I propose mine as an answer.

Both give options: the choice seems to be either continuing what was happening or confront the existing situation and end it once and for all.

The Anglican Church of Canada, not for the first time, faces a similar situation.

It is exploring whether the Anglican Journal, and by implication nearly 20 diocesan papers, should be or not be printed and mailed, but distributed only in digital format to all church members.

In June 2017, a national working group was established by the Council of General Synod (CoGS), “to undertake a process of research and consultation with Anglican Church of Canada members on how they would like the Journal distributed, including a research survey”.

Read “Anglican Journal up for review” by Tali Folkins at anglicanjournal.com

In June 2018, CoGS received an update from the working group.

“Their research,” penned Tali of the Anglican Journal, included “surveying bishops, diocesan editors, General Synod members, CoGS members, national office staff and Canadian Anglicans selected at random using the current Anglican Journal distribution list.”

After pondering their findings, the working group came to some “very preliminary” responses and plan to present “more fleshed out recommendations” to CoGS when it meets in November 2018.

“The Anglican Journal’s print edition may be discontinued after a ‘lengthy transition period’ and,” continued Tali, “its mandate as an editorially independent news source may be changed under possible scenarios now being considered by a working group.”

By implication the future of the Niagara Anglican and other diocesan papers would be directly affected by any decisions made by General Synod during this “lengthy transition period”.

We need to hear from you.

Elsewhere on this page we are asking you to give us your thoughts and recommendations about the Niagara Anglican and Anglican Journal – what it means to you today, should it continue, what does its future looks like and other thoughts.

We will share your responses as widely as possible.

Looking forward to hearing from you.

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To print or not to print?

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