The Christian Broadcasting Network will launch a faith-based news website targeted at millennials Wednesday.
The website, FaithWire.com, will seek to reach young people with a variety of content, including articles, podcasts, and video features.
“We’re enthusiastic about the vision for FaithWire.com and believe it can reach a whole new generation,” Gordon Robertson, president of the Christian Broadcasting Network, said in a statement provided to Business Insider. “FaithWire.com is well-positioned to meet a growing passion for news within the faith community.”
Two alumni of conservative talk show host Glenn Beck’s media empire will lead the website. Dan Andros, who was Beck’s head writer for 15 years, will serve as managing editor. Sara Johnson, who spent nearly five years heading social media for Beck, will be director of social media.
Andros and Johnson told Business Insider that the editorial team will initially be “nimble” and comprised of just one other person: Stephanie Parker, who will be an assistant editor. The website will also accept content from a network of freelancers.
Kirsten Haglund, Miss America 2008, who will cover women’s issues and host her own podcast, but not in a full-time capacity.
On launch day, FaithWire will feature a story about how young people are going to church in “one of the trendiest, least-churched sections of Brooklyn,” a profile on a drug dealer who escaped from police but later turned himself into authorities after reading the Bible, and an in-depth look at individuals trying to rehabilitate released convicts into society.
“We live in the world of Vice News, Serial, Netflix documentaries and all-digital viewing habits,” said Rob Allman, president of FaithWire. “We have an opportunity to be that for a growing segment of the faith audience.”
He added: “These are deeper stories, more human and real, and they’re just waiting for someone to cover them in an honest, thought-provoking way. FaithWire.com exists to fill this void and we’ll do so in a way that doesn’t depress you but instead leaves you with hope.”
Andros told Business Insider that after 16 years covering politics, he “started feeling numb” to the non-stop news cycle.
“I feel this site is needed because — well, take a look at the two nominees for president,” he said, referring to Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. “One has trouble with the truth. The other has trouble with, well, just about everything. We need to look somewhere else for hope.”
The website, which has been in the works for the past three months, will serve a “higher purpose than partisan politics,” Andros promised.
Johnson agreed, telling Business Insider that the website would “lean toward values more than a political ideology.”
“If there is a devastating storm that hits a community, we’re not going to write an article telling you how many days it’s been before a politician has visited or addressed the issue,” she said. “FaithWire is going to highlight the personal stories of people living through that disaster, what’s going on in that community, how people are helping one another, and how you can get involved if you want to as well.”
The duo said FaithWire has an “incredible opportunity” to reshape the way Christians are portrayed in popular cultural.
“We’re consistently portrayed as combative and bigoted — a one track mind for controversy,” Andros said. “I don’t believe that’s who we are. That’s not been my experience anyway.”
Disclosure: The author of this story previously worked with Johnson at TheBlaze, a multi-platform media organisation owned by Glenn Beck.
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