Ground 7 breaks new ground in church communication.
The weekly Ground 7 News program provides a mix of church news, world news, features, diverse commentaries, and profiles of dynamic Adventists. Ground 7 uses headlines from Adventist News Network as a base, and then expands those headlines with thought-provoking interviews, discussions, and commentaries. Ground 7 grew out of a need to get news featuring Adventists from all over the world into an exciting, portable, convenient, and cutting-edge format. Here’s what John Torres, Taashi Rowe, and the General Conference Communication Department recently shared with the Adventist Review:
How long has GC Communication been doing Ground 7? Ground 7 started in October 6, 2005, with John Torres and Wendi Rogers (communication assistants) as the hosts. Taashi Rowe and Torres are currently the program hosts.
Whose idea was it? Communication director Rajmund Dabrowski had been listening to podcasts and decided that we needed one as well. He realized that with people living busy lives in a multitasking society it would be a great service to provide to the public. The idea was to base a short, interactive news broadcast on stories that came from Adventist News Network. Dabrowski also specifically put the responsibility for the podcast into the hands of young people in the department.
We started with reading headlines and occasional commentaries. We soon expanded and began originating our own stories, interviews, and commentaries from Adventists around the world.
What type of feedback have you gotten? Our Webmaster, John Beckett, estimates that we get about 1,000 listeners a week. From the e-mails Rowe has received, it’s evident that listeners tend to see Ground 7 as an interactive community. She has gotten story ideas through the site, as well as people offering to report on things going on in the Adventist Church in their part of the world. People are also interested in Ground 7 including more arts/music pieces and interviews. Listeners have also requested more information about the Adventist Church.
What have listeners been telling you? Here are two samples. Response 1: “Thank you very much for your interview with the chaplain of the Senate [Rear Admiral Barry Black]. It in fact gives encouragement to the brokenhearted.” Response 2: “This is the news. . . . I think it’s very important to be aware [of] what is going on in the church. I’m new to this.”
Share with us a profile of your typical listener. It’s difficult to gauge who the audience is. Perhaps most of our listeners are from the United States, but the program has been well received globally. It’s being used in radio logs of Adventist stations. Because it’s available on iTunes, the program has become a staple diet for the Adventist online community. GC Communication has received e-mails from Africa, Brazil, and several Spanish-speaking countries. We’re assuming that the listeners are a bit younger and definitely tech-savvy.
Any changes or new things slated for 2007? We’re thinking about adding a blog and a vodcast of news. Online communities ask for reality, not commentary on reality. We’ll add additional radio styles, such as stories and features. Some lighter topics are being asked for, too. In addition, the Communication Department would also like to have more commentaries done by women and young people, and more interactive segments featuring the talents and thoughts of listeners.