Inside the newsroom: What is media's role when a church asks to be referred to by its name?

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  • bass679 Novi, MI
    Aug. 29, 2018 2:05 p.m.

    @2bits
    right now LDS.org is the domain name but there's a bunch of others that redirect there. If they're going to change it they could make a longer name the domain and have lds.org redirect there.

  • cthulhu_fhtagn Seattle, WA
    Aug. 28, 2018 3:58 p.m.

    Pragmatically speaking, if your name has nine words in it, it's on you to concede to common usage. Not vice versa.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Aug. 28, 2018 10:05 a.m.

    I wonder if the church will get rid of lds dot org and mormon dot org. It's a lot easier for people to find.

    I know the church's real name, but I don't use it all the time. So many people know us as Mormon's now days.

    The contraction that bugs me a little, which I hear outsiders us a lot is... "The Church of Later Day Saints". That one bugs me because it leaves out the only important part of the church's name.

    If you read the scripture where the Lord revealed what he wanted the church to be called... you understand why keeping that part in there is super-important.

    He said, "How be it my church save it be called in my name? For if a church be called in Moses' name then it be Moses' church, or if it be called in the name of a man then it be the church of a man; but if it be called in my name then it is my church, if it so be that they are built upon my gospel" (3 Ne. 27:8)...

    By implication, leaving the "Jesus Christ" out of our name... is a serious slight.

    That's why members of the church prefer the name that properly underscores their relationship to Christ.

    Just so people understand why it's quite important to us to not leave the "Jesus Christ" part out.

  • liberal larry Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 28, 2018 6:22 a.m.

    It's good policy to address people by their preferred name. It's particularly annoying when people deliberately use dog whistle terms like "democrat voter" instead of "democratic voter"!

  • figureditout American Fork, UT
    Aug. 28, 2018 6:11 a.m.

    The church created the problem and the church needs to fix it. Blaming the media or even individual members is wrong. It is the church that created the 'Mormon' Tabernacle Choir, and 'Mormon.org' and a hundred other 'Mormon' institutional references, including the 'Book of Mormon' where it all began. Maybe after another 190 years of referring to 'Christ' instead of 'Mormon' and dumping some of their peculiar, esoteric founding beliefs (which they are now trying to distance themselves from) the Church will be seen as much more 'Christian' than 'Mormon'. In my opinion, this is a must if the Church is to survive, and I believe the brethren have caught on. Members can help, but what message does it send if you ask them to comply and then release a full length feature film, sponsored by the church entitled "Meet the MORMONS"?

  • EscherEnigma Ridgecrest, CA
    Aug. 27, 2018 10:01 a.m.

    Generally speaking, it is polite and respectful to refer to someone or a group by the name they prefer.

    That said, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (apologies if I bungled the name) has a long history of *not* doing so when it comes to certain people. Using birth-names for trans-folk, calling gay people "same-sex attracted" against our wishes, refusing to acknowledge the married-names of gay folk that got married, etc. and so-on.

    So while I fully plan on doing my best to refer to the church and it's adherents as they prefer, I think they've earned some ill-will on this topic, and won't harshly judge anyone that rebukes them.

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    Aug. 27, 2018 8:38 a.m.

    This is a losing battle because the full formal name of the Church is such a mouthful.

  • george of the jungle goshen, UT
    Aug. 27, 2018 7:28 a.m.

    I figure there are a lot of people that have the name Jesus. I might want to learn about the Jesus of the Bible.

  • Sequoya Stafford, VA
    Aug. 26, 2018 7:18 p.m.

    what is the 'correct" reference for white south africans, e.g., boers, afrikaans,??? and if they have immigrated to the U.S and become citizens, do thy qulify s 'african americans.' born in africa??

  • The Atheist Provo, UT
    Aug. 26, 2018 3:43 p.m.

    Suppose that a controversial "religious" organization, such as "The People's Temple", issued a press guide that insisted they call themselves by a different name, in order to cover up their history and disassociate the new leadership with their controversial past?

    Does "the media" have any obligation NOT to assist in such a cover-up? Where does the media's commitment to truth and ethics conflict with their "obligation" (if any) to respect and honor the request of the organization?

    Being called "Mormons" is an unavoidable truth that is part of the Church's history, whether you like it or not. Isn't insisting that nobody call you by that name essentially of the same spirit as tearing down statues of Confederate generals in the South? Isn't it an attempt to gloss over and/or rewrite history?

  • junkgeek Agua Dulce, TX
    Aug. 26, 2018 2:07 p.m.

    Why does a random Church member need to be publishing a FB page called "LDS Standing United"? Seems like that property should be run by the Church, not a random member.

  • hbeckett Colfax, CA
    Aug. 26, 2018 1:35 p.m.

    I like to be called by my official name even though some people know me by certain abbreviations especially in the electron media

  • James E Tooele, UT
    Aug. 26, 2018 11:41 a.m.

    The media refers to the Democrats as the Democratic Party, even though we all know that the use of Superdelegates and stealing the primaries from Sanders is anything but democratic. They refer to a person by whatever sex they prefer in defiance to all logic and tradition. They refer to the Boy Scouts as "Scouts BSA" and that was an actual name change. This should be a no-brainer.

  • Red Corvette St George, UT
    Aug. 26, 2018 11:08 a.m.

    The media can call the church whatever it wants. That's why its called the Free Press.

  • NeifyT Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 26, 2018 11:01 a.m.

    This article in my mind comes extremely late. This is the article that should have been run on that very first day of the announcement.

    The "style-guide" was clearly meant to be used by journalists (not the public); yet the journalists on this website and sister site of KSL; ran articles as if the Prophet was re-naming/re-branding the church, in "Breaking News" headlines, and then tons of articles on the same topic. Now weeks later; they finally admit that "style-guides" are used by most organizations when dealing with the press, and this should have been no different.

    Finally they are admitting that the headlines was about them; and not about the public.

    Now, whether or not Pres. Nelson includes members in his admonition to remember Christ as the head of the church, may still be seen, and I expect he will (mo so in General Conference). But a "style-guide" is expressly for the press to understand correct usage in their writing.

  • Vermonter Plymouth, MI
    Aug. 26, 2018 10:41 a.m.

    @Hutterite.
    In a sense you are right. Journalists don’t have any obligation to a corporation that is not their owner.

    But they do have an obligation to readers and viewers to accurately and professionally report. If they don’t, especially in our free society, people eventually stop reading, watching and listening.

    Professionalism also demands some deference to the names individuals and organizations choose to use. Chosen names should be respected by journalists as long as there is no attempt to confuse or conceal important factual information.

  • G-Day-M8 Where is Waldo, UT
    Aug. 26, 2018 9:37 a.m.

    Jesus Christ, who's church it is, has made it known to his prophet that the name of his church be used in its proper form as recorded in the Doctrine & Covenants.

    Reverence and dignity should guide ones willingness to honor the request.

  • TDorsey Cornelius, OR
    Aug. 26, 2018 9:14 a.m.

    In recent days there has been a huge calling from overzealous “Saints” for Facebook pages, Websites and Twitter accounts to change their names to reflect the Prophets statement. They have added in the church’s media style guide to back their claims. They neglect this part of the style guide:
    “Mormon” is CORRECTLY used in proper names such as the Book of Mormon or when used as an adjective in such historical expressions as “Mormon Trail.”

    Would this not cover the proper names of these pages, accounts and websites?

    I run a Facebook page called “LDS Standing United” (we have almost 200,000 followers and I have been inundated with requests to “follow the Prophet.” The problem is, Facebook pages with more than 100K likes cannot change their names. This includes the majority of the official Church pages with the names "Mormon" and "LDS" in them.
    Until things are clarified I will continue to publish as “LDS Standing United.” All I can do is wait and see what the “Church” does with it’s Facebook pages.

    In the meantime…Stop attacking me like I’m some sort of apostate!

    This crazy “Mormon” mob mentality is making me feel like a statue in the south during the history purge of 2015.

  • ConservativeCommonTater Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 26, 2018 8:45 a.m.

    No one, except maybe church members, are required to show any deference to what the Mormon church wants to be called.

    Any media source can reference the Mormon church the way it wants to.

  • THEREALND Mishawaka, IN
    Aug. 26, 2018 6:01 a.m.

    I think the media should use the requested name of any organization, but the media should not be expected to make any claim of certainty in doing so.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Aug. 25, 2018 11:15 p.m.

    What is media's role when a church asks to be referred to by its name?

    Nothing. None.

    The media doesn't owe deference to any corporate entity. Including churches.

  • Jonny Canuck Medicine Hat, 00
    Aug. 25, 2018 10:38 p.m.

    As a former newspaper journalist and editor, I was always aware of the church's request in media releases about the name for the church. Even though the standard was clear in news style guides, I often saw bungled variations and shuddered at some of them. It will likely take time to have people come around to using it appropriately.

  • toosmartforyou Kaysville, UT
    Aug. 25, 2018 10:34 p.m.

    You should be telling us the role journalists will be taking. It appears your staff lacks clarity on this issue. At least you admit it.

  • sashabill Morgan Hill, CA
    Aug. 25, 2018 9:00 p.m.

    In areas of the world where the church is just becoming established, or just beginning to show significant growth, the name "Mormon" may not have the level of recognition that it would have in the US, Canada, or Mexico. (Think of areas like India, SE Asia, Africa, or Eastern Europe). In those regions, it may be less problematic to just use the church's official name consistently and stick with it.

  • toosmartforyou Kaysville, UT
    Aug. 25, 2018 5:58 p.m.

    I fail to see why the article doesn't just talk about the Church, but why the Deseret News feels the need to bring in the side issues of the African-American/Black, Islamic and LGBT communities. Do you think we cannot "get it" without having those other parameters explained to us? Certainly perhaps AP or the New York Times readers might find them helpful, but I think Deseret News readers do not need the peripheral examples. And I'm not against understanding how "style issues" may or may not make writing about those groups more or less difficult, but that is a separate issue, at least in my mind. Once I was told that a person sitting in a dark rook can be enlightened when a window blind is opened, but if every window blind if opened the result can be more glare than enlightenment. That might be something to consider.