The annual young writer’s Brain’s Trust meeting chaired by Sydney’s Sam Gillespie this year will be on Saturday 4 May in Melbourne.
The Brain’s Trust have been meeting for some years as a consultancy body to the young writers program, focused mainly on the nature of the internal mechanisations of Press Service International.
The young writer program has been functioning since 2009 as a ministry within Press Service International and Christian Today, a program now with 105 young writers from Australia, New Zealand and with numerous internationals.
The internationals come from England, Canada, USA, China, South Africa, Mozambique, India, Nigeria, Cambodia, Pakistan, Vietnam and the West Indies. They make up 16 young writers 18-30 years in Week 1. Then there are 7 in the Over 31s in Week 5.
The Brain’s Trust last year (2018) focused on the lack of response to the editorial notes in the Thursday weekly young writer memo. A redirection was determined to replace the editorial notes to the list of published articles each week.
This has been very well received as the weekly young writer memo is now combined with the prayer and financial supporters ‘E-Blast’. This came about as the Australian young writers discussed a range of such issues at the Christchurch conference in September.
One of these issues was that one particular young writer spoke at length - not wanting too many Emails – therefore being combined - (the weekly Thursday memo and the E-Blast) has worked well. The same person did not want to receive the daily PSI of the day’s young writers published - did not see supporting fellow writers are being important - rather only receiving the Thursday weekly memo.
At the Christchurch conference, the question was asked, who read Daniel Jang’s astonishing article of being arrested in Turkey with a mission team. Only 4 raised their hands.
It was obviously evident - they were frightfully keen on having their own ‘international column’ published and read - but took no responsibility of reading each other’s articles, nor did they take into account those in the team who took up voluntary roles as a coordinator / editor / photo selector.
In other words, they wanted the privileges of an international column but no part in the community and the responsibilities this involves.
This was followed by a couple of months of rancour - those young writers who were writing only for themselves - ignoring all those who developed the program behind the scenes which see all the young people published.
In effect, these young people wanted nothing more than a ‘airport shuttle’ - transferring their article from their desk to Christian Today. One might imagine that went down like a lead balloon. Moreover others decided they only wanted one email a month, then others this and that.
The young writer program is still working their way through this as it’s become a nightmare each day figuring out who gets this or that email and others only wanted this or that information …. it proved to be a drama. A simple solution would be those specific people pressing a delete button.
My workload quadrupled. It has made my tasks quite horrible, as it changes each day. In my view it contributed to my blackout late last year.
This upcoming 4 May “Brain’s Trust discussions” will also include the two new video producers – Cartia Moore (Sunshine Coast) who presents a video every couple of months on PSI matters, and Amy Manners (Adelaide) who features the ‘newsy bits’.
One success story though has been the Weebly ‘updating’ the CV sites of each young writer. Mr Basil Sellers AM expressed his astonishment that I had been doing this fine data base work for so many years. Josh Hinds the web master of the PSI site has issued every young writer their own code so as to update their own CV sites with their articles.
This plan to have the young writers upload their own CV sites along with an explanation sheet by Brent Van Mourik and a DVD by Cartia Moore issued last November has been sparingly engaged which was issued again in late January. It is also advantageous to the editor of Christian Times. China who is going to the CV sites to ascertain which articles to republish.
The Brain’s Trust has a lot on its plate come Saturday 4 May.
Dr Mark Tronson is a Baptist minister (retired) who served as the Australian cricket team chaplain for 17 years (2000 ret) and established Life After Cricket in 2001. He was recognised by the Olympic Ministry Medal in 2009 presented by Carl Lewis Olympian of the Century. He mentors young writers and has written 24 books, and enjoys writing. He is married to Delma, with four adult children and grand-children. Dr Tronson writes a daily article for Christian Today Australia (since 2008) and in November 2016 established Christian Today New Zealand.
Mark Tronson's archive of articles can be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/mark-tronson.html