Baptist Editor Calls For Open Meetings

Lonnie Wilkey, editor of the Baptist and Reflector newspaper in Tennessee, requested all SBC trustees “to think aboutto think about examining their media policies, and if they do not have actually clearly specified guidelines to considerto think about establishing a policy that trustee meetings, consisting of committee conferences, be open to news media.”

By rules which state any movement on the floor of the annual conference concerning the internal work of an SBC entity be described its board of trustees, messengers voted to refer the movement to all entities with a request they report back to the convention next year.

Early this year Wilkey and other Baptist state paper editors voiced concern about unanswered questions concerning layoffs at the International Objective Board. Wilkey composed Jan. 28 that he is “bothered by the absence of interaction coming from the IMB.”

Existing IMB policy enablesenables open conferences of certain committees for background info just and a closing plenary session that is open to the general public unless trustees choose to go into executive session.

A June 3 editorial in the Baptist Message in Louisiana asked “Why are IMB leaders not responding to concerns?” about the termination of 1,132 missionaries and personnel that leadership associatedcredited to spending plan shortfalls.

“The Message is not a crusading investigative news outlet,” wrote editorial Will Hall, a former vice president at the SBC Executive Committee who directed Baptist Press. “We just attemptattempt to ask concerns Southern Baptists are asking amongst themselves.”

On Wednesday SBC messengers adopted a resolution motivating “journalists and news organizations– both nonreligious and spiritual– to exercise properly their flexibility” and all SBC entities “to honor flexibility of the press by continuing to make affordableclear up accommodations to the news media looking for to cover Southern Baptist entities and newsmakers.”