A Remembrance of the United Methodist Reporter



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Journalism Continues -- Sort Of

I think UM Insight is picking up where the Reporter is leaving off. It seems to me that we value blogs and opinion more than stories that are presented as "news." With a blog we can get news while at the same time the author is honest about the fact that the article is also opinion. Whatever the reasons may be, I always look over the offerings in UM Insight, but I will only skim the headlines of UM Reporter.

tony hoefner more than 8 years ago

i remember

what deep memories i have of UMR issues for over 50 years. i am grateful for the journey, what i know now and what i learned, and i join the heavenly choir of gratitude for all that was. may there be grace and mercy in what is to be.

laura flippen tenzel more than 8 years ago

Let's be honest

When anyone passes on, there's a tendency to gloss over their shortcomings and remember only the good things. In this case, despite all of the positive comments that people have made about the UMR, with which I have no disagreement, we should also remember its close captivity to conservative U.S. politics at times. For example, its coverage of the church in Central America in the 80s was at times horrible. On more than one occasion, John Lovelace would rewrite stories or photo captions that I had written for RNS, always with the effect of bringing them more into line with the policies of the Reagan administration. I protested several times. Once when I protested about the way that CEPAD (an ecumenical development council in Nicargua) had been characterized in a story, he challenged me "to prove that CEPAD isn't a communist front organization." It seemed more appropriate to me for him to prove it was if he was going to make the accusation; instead, he asked me to prove a negative. So let the fond memories of UMR continue to flow, but let's also be adults about the ideological biases that at times got in the way of responsible journalism.

Paul Jeffrey more than 8 years ago

Thank You, Cynthia!

Thank you, Cynthia, for a wonderful memorial. With you, I mourn the closing of the UMReporter. A great loss to the Church.

Dr. Gregory S. Neal more than 8 years ago

Demise of UMR

As with you, Cynthia, the closing of UMR was a hard hit to my midsection. I was Associate Editor of TM/UMR under Spurgeon from 1974 until 1980. They were wonderful years. Circulation hit 650,000 at one point. SMD was indeed a difficult man to work for and with. One day I would want to strangle him and the next day I would want to hug him. He was an enigma and I never quite figured him out, but he was a genius at building the newspaper and making it a reasoned and powerful voice in the church. So sad to see the journey end.

Bud Herron more than 8 years ago

Demise of UMR

Hi, Bud! Good to hear from you! Yes, we of the Dunnam era, early and late, have "A Tale of Two Cities" kind of memories: it was the best of times, it was the worst of times. Thanks for checking in.

cynthiaadmin (United Methodist Insight) more than 8 years ago


Cynthia, I think a book on SMD III and the years when TM/UMR was on the rise under his eccentric leadership and Asbergers-type focus would be a great read. It was a whirlwind of creative tension wrapped in a personality cult, episcopal ambitions and youthful arrogance at its worst. At its best, it was a beautiful exercise in hard-nosed journalism. I came to UMR from the secular press and returned to daily newspapers for the last 27 years of my career. When we were at our peek in Dallas, the journalistic effort was the best I ever encountered.

Bud Herron more than 8 years ago