Moving day: Back home at GetReligion.org

So, here we are again -- back home at GetReligion.org, where Doug Leblanc and I first pitched camp more than 10 years ago.

As I explained in the exit post at Patheos, this whole week is going to have a kind of Christmas in July feel to it. Why is that?

Well, we have been working on this move for a long time, a very long time -- since the last month or two of 2013. It's hard to move a website from a commercial, very complicated website like the Patheos hub to a completely different platform. Our decade-plus archive contains millions of words and thousands or hyperlinks, images and comments that you want to bring with you.

So the goal was to make this move (cue: drum roll) back on our 10th anniversary -- which was Feb. 2. That was technically impossible, for reasons that we don't have time to discuss. 

Thus, this week is -- uh -- going to have a kind of Christmas in July, 2nd of February on August the 4th sort of feel to it. Does that make sense?

That’s why, in the first week or so of life at the new site — GetReligion.org, once again — I will be running some tweaked versions of the 10th anniversary posts from long ago.

But the crucial message here is that GetReligion.org is back home at GetReligion.org — period. 

We are returning to our status as an independent website that wrestles with issues of religion-beat coverage in the mainstream press, still linked to The Media Project and, in a process that will evolve over the next academic year, to my future classroom work with The King’s College in New York City. The key institution at that lower-downtown location is the college’s new John McCandlish Phillips Institute, which is led by a New York City journalist named Paul Glader, who is justifiably well-known for his years of hard-news work with The Wall Street Journal. Meanwhile, if you are not familiar with the byline of the late and very great New York Times reporter John McCandlish Phillips, please surf around in this collection of links.

The key to this fourth GetReligion move is that we are, first and foremost, a website that focuses on journalism issues rooted in mainstream-media coverage of religion news -- as opposed to being a site that fosters dialogues and debates about the content of religious issues. The goal is to work with projects linked to journalism education. That is our silo.

As your GetReligionistas have said hundreds of times, this is not a religion-news site -- it's a site about what happens when the mainstream press covers (or fails to cover) religion news.

As the photo at the top of this post implies, we are going to need you to be patient with us -- especially since two of us are on the road this week and another is making her grand entrance. It will take time for us to settle into this new home in the SquareSpace world.

We can expect a few stumbles and flawed links to here and there. Also know that we hope, in the future, to be able (once again) to maintain better control of our comments pages, keeping them focused more on journalism issues. We hope that it is easier in the new platform for journalists (who are known to us) to comment without having to, well, accept too many digital ties that bind.

The new site will, eventually, have some low-key advertisements that will be linked to the online commerce that readers have already been doing (I hope I said that right). No pop-up ads.

As I said last week, the whole team will continue to do podcasts and there is the dream of full-on weekly GetReligion radio show online and through some radio stations.

The team is changing a bit, as well. The Rev. George Conger will continue to write about global media, but his essays will be based at the main site for The Media Project. We will frequently link to his work and share texts here. We hope the same thing continues for our friend and colleague Richard Ostling.

Also, we have a new GetReligionista in our midst -- a woman who is a legend, shall we say, in the world of New York City headline writing. Dawn Eden is a former rock critic, a copy-desk pro at major dailies and, these days, is known as an emerging Catholic voice through her books and theological studies. That’s not your normal resume. She will introduce herself today, but curious readers can head over to her personal site, The Dawn Patrol.

The evolution in these cyber-circles will continue throughout the year. A year from now, I hope to be writing in this space full-time, while teaching part-time. At one of my desks I will looking out at the hardwoods in East Tennessee. At the other I will be near the corner of Broadway and Wall Street. Life doesn’t get more diverse and interesting than that.

Please join the GetReligion team as we move back in at our old home.

That’s GetReligion.org, of course.

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