Aim, Mission and Purpose of FOCUS

FOCUS is the bi-monthly magazine of Anglican Church Southern Queensland (ACSQ) and is a publication that engages with readers through a mix of editorial content reflecting Anglican perspectives. FOCUS is positioned within Anglican Church SQ’s over-arching communications plan which aims to

  • truthfully inform Anglicans throughout Southern Queensland, and non-Anglicans alike, about the work of the Church as well as events and issues relevant to the Church and society
  • promote the work and achievements of the Church to Anglicans and the wider society
  • enhance the Church’s reputation through the responsible and ethical management of issues and incidents
  • encourage and inspire people associated with the Church and those in the wider society to positively engage with Christianity and the Church.

FOCUS seeks to achieve these aims by communicating to Anglican Church Southern Queensland’s diverse audience and the general public as a magazine and online through the editorial styles of journalism and marketing-communications. It is a publication that incorporates Anglican-community lifestyle with Anglican theological perspectives. It aims to attract readers through relevant and engaging stories and other editorial content and by doing so enabling readers to be better informed and educated about the Church.

As a key communication channel of Anglican Church Southern Queensland, FOCUS provides topical non-fiction stories, news, information, discussion, commentary, and inspiration to its readers. By doing so it fosters a positive understanding of Anglican Church Southern Queensland and its operations.

FOCUS is a member of the Queensland Chapter of the Australasian Religious Press Association (ARPA) and builds on its record of being an award-winning publication recognised for excellence in content, layout and design.

The FOCUS Editorial Approach

FOCUS is informed by and seeks to deliver upon key goals including building and growing Anglican community, for example going for growth and the whole church engaged in the whole mission.

The priorities for selecting editorial content for FOCUS include:

  • truthfully informing Anglicans throughout Anglican Church Southern Queensland and non-Anglicans alike about the work and achievements of the church as well as events and issues relevant to the church and society;
  • encouraging and inspiring all people associated with the church and those in thewider society to think well of Christianity and of  Anglican Church;
  • enhancing the church’s reputation through the responsible and ethical management of issues and incidents;
  • raising general awareness in society of the accomplishments of Anglican Church and its contribution to the social good;
  • being a resource to and provide support for those engaged in the work of the church
  • the sharing of relevant voices and perspectives.

Content is drawn from sources and areas of expertise from within and outside Anglican Church Southern Queensland researched and written primarily by the FOCUS journalist with the assistance of Marketing, Communications and Fundraising (MC&F) staff members, freelancers (as required) and contributors.

There is a strong emphasis on sourcing information story ideas, research/information and quotations – from experts in Anglican Church Southern Queensland. The information provided informs and where relevant is incorporated into reports and story narratives. Editorial staff members liaise with Anglican Church SQ sources on the development of opinion/commentary material that fits with the policies, format and style of FOCUS. Contributions are subject to editorial and style scrutiny and sub-editing by FOCUS editorial staff.

A Marketing Communications & Fundraising Reference Committee is an auditing, consultation and monitoring resource that assists MC&F deliver upon Anglican Church Southern Queensland communications strategy, including FOCUS. The committee assists in auditing the work of MC&F for theological and strategic integrity. The committee comprises representatives from across Anglican Church Southern Queensland who offer story ideas as well as expertise, including theological expertise, and feedback on stories, policies and approaches.

With regard to visual images including photographs, most imagery is sourced internally by ACSQ staff. However, to ensure the editorial coverage across the ACSQ and enhance the visual impact of the magazine, imagery can be sourced from contributors and commissioned.

While some content can be sourced through commercial arrangements, generally it is supplied without payment.

Editorial Approach

FOCUS editorial mix of content reflects the approach commonly used in the magazine publishing sector and includes longer form feature articles allowing for in-depth treatment of significant issues and events, in combination with short articles that do not date quickly. While flexible in its incorporation of editorial approaches, the principal editorial style is that of traditional reportage i.e. objective third-party narratives incorporating attributable comments/quotes and multiple perspectives.

FOCUS adheres to high-level journalistic magazine publication guidelines including:

  • Implementing a language style and tone which is clear, non-patronising and inclusive.
  • Applying a balanced approach to reporting, editing and presenting information. There are clear divisions between news stories, opinion pieces, reports, reviews and commentary.
  • Following a style guide which is based on News Ltd Style GuideChurch Terminology Style GuideThe Australian Anglican Directory. The FOCUS Style Guide is subject to regular updating.
  • The attribution of contributors and sources, wherever possible.
  • The provision of photographic captions, attribution, author, references which are clear and consistent.

Selection and Treatment of Editorial Content

Content will be assessed for publication that:

  • reflects traditional journalism values of
    • timeliness (topicality);
    • significance (impact on readers);
    • multiple perspectives (different sides of a story);
    • proximity (priority of local diocesan stories and seeking of local story angles for relevance to readers);
    • prominence (stories about people doing significant things; senior office holders in Anglican Church Southern Queensland; ACSQ experts); and
    • human interest (the personal stories of people doing interesting things)
  • is accurate and provides factual information that enables readers to be informed by understanding the who, what, when, where, how and why of a story.

In delivering an informative, credible, engaging and trustworthy reading experience to readers, FOCUS is a magazine and avoids being a newspaper, newsletter or brochure. It engages readers with stories that tell rather than stories that sell. It retains and strengthens the respect of readers through the publication of well-written, interesting and engaging stories that contain information that is attributable to sources and is accurate and fair in its approach. It avoids brochure-style media statement promotion and style. In seeking to inform readers and enable better understanding of topics and issues, FOCUS pursues a range of suitable views and voices.

Over a twelve month period, FOCUS seeks to give balanced representation to agencies across Anglican Church Southern Queensland. However, stories are not selected on a roster-style basis but according to the editorial worth of each story or story idea/proposal. The editorial team reserves the discretion to select, shape, and position stories as required and taking into account the space/size demands of each edition. All editorial copy is subject to possible editing and non-publication.

FOCUS Sections

  • Archbishops column and contents page
This opinion column is the most read page of FOCUS. It expresses the views and theological positions of Anglican Church Southern Queensland. It is an opinion piece written in first person.
Editorial policy:  the column is the opening and welcoming voice for each edition of FOCUS, and as the author, the Archbishop or his designate, have the ability to discuss a range of topics and issues of their choosing.
  • Your View
This a forum for readers comment and debate on subjects and views raised in the previous edition/s of FOCUS. Correspondence includes letters, emails, social media and website posts, and vox pops.
Editorial policy: The page is moderated by the journalist and managing editor. Contributions are subject to vetting and editing. Each edition carries this advice: FOCUS welcomes feedback and the views of its readers. To be considered for publication, letters must not be defamatory. Preference will be given to letters and emails that are fair and respectful of other views, concise and to the point 200 words or less. The editorial team reserves the right to edit letters to clarify meaning and comply with the stated requirements.
  • Around Anglican Church Southern Queensland
The aim of this section is to, over the course of a year, tell the newsworthy stories of Anglican Church Southern Queensland, city and the bush – informing about developments and offering insights into Anglican faith. Readers story ideas and contributions including high resolution photographs are welcomed.
Editorial policy: as a general rule, stories are written as third-person reports emphasising traditional news values especially human interest.
  • Feature stories X 3
The features are written by the in-house journalist and Communications staff. Subject material is taken from current issues in society that link with the work and concerns of Anglican Church Southern Queensland. In writing the features, the journalist seeks to include a range of relevant perspectives and voices from within the ACSQ and where appropriate from other sources.
Editorial policy: as a general rule, stories are written as third-person reports emphasising traditional news values especially human interest.
  • Beyond Anglican Church Southern Queensland
This section is dedicated to topical and relevant news from outside Anglican Church Southern Queensland primarily international and national, with an emphasis on the international Anglican community.
Editorial policy: as a general rule, stories are written as third-person reports emphasising human interest news and values.
  • Spotlight On
This is a personal profile story about someone within or associated with the ACSQ.
Editorial policy: Representation of the commissions is informally rotated with each issue. As a general rule, it is written by the journalist in third-person report/story style.
  • Out and About
This section includes social and other photos from events that have happened around Anglican Church Southern Queensland at parishes, schools, St Francis College and Anglicare for example.
Editorial policy: For inclusion in this section, the submission of suitable high resolution photographs is essential minimum 1MB in size (for basic tips on photography visit http://www.betterphoto.com/exploring/tips.asp). Photos will contain captions and, where relevant, headings that describe the event and those photographed.
  • Arts, entertainment and events
This section includes reviews drawn from a broad range of entertaining and leisure activities that include for example books, music, plays, movies, websites, television programs.
Editorial policy: Reviews are written in first-person style by contributors invited by the FOCUS editorial team. While written as opinion pieces, the articles must be accurate, fair, balanced, non-defamatory and contain useful information for readers. Material is subject to editing by editorial staff.
  • Anglikids 
Anglikids engages children and young-at-heart through relevant and fun content including stories, games, puzzles and humour.
Editorial policy: A mix of short-form visually interesting material that invites youthful readers to engage with other sections of FOCUS and extends the life of the magazine in the homes of its target readers.
  • Reflection
The Reflection page contains usually one or two opinion pieces on theological topics.
Editorial policy: Content for this page is sourced from clergy and is written in first-person commentary style. Content can be initiated through editorial ideas presented to the journalist or by editorial staff inviting clergy. Content is subject to editing by editorial staff