Editorial: “Equal Time”, Jurisdictionally?

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Since our last article about Bishop Stefan of Trenton seems to have generated some level of controversy over partisanship on NFTU, we once again have to remind all our readers that this site is not based on any particular jurisdictional slant.

Unfortunately, it is now assumed by some of our readers that we are “pro-ROCOR-Agafangel” in contrast to the other jurisdictions. Nothing could be further from the truth. Over the past year, we have done our best to cover all the major Russian jurisdictions as far as we have been able to. We aren’t perfect. There are four of us, and three of us are heavily active on the site. None of us are part of ROCOR-A (we have, however, invited members of the ROCOR-A to contribute which would allow the rest of us to shift our focus).

About half of of our news– and virtually all of our news on TOC jurisdictions– comes from either searching or leads sent by email. That’s how what you see on NFTU makes it here. We take the volume of news we get, we try to figure out what can make it on the site (or on the forum) and that is how we get that news.

We have– and have had for years– a number of people assisting us with information, and right about now the most forthcoming and consistent have been members of the ROCOR-A. (We have five or six people in other jurisdictions sending news occasionally.) We had some people in a couple of other jurisdictions, but they are reducing in number. A couple of folks have even expressed that if they “hold back” their news that they’ll have a news “advantage” over us because we won’t have “control” of their news. This has two negative effects: (1) it makes us look biased since we’re “holding back” news we didn’t get and (2) ensures perfectly legitimate news doesn’t make it to a wide readership– and by the time we find out about it a month later, it’s very unlikely we’ll put it up because it isn’t news. By contrast, we get ROCOR-A news fast– very fast– because people devoted to their Church take that information seriously enough to send it out quickly.

So I ask, once again, specifically to the folks reading who think we are being biased– if you get news and you want to help put it up, please do so! Help us be less “biased”! If you don’t want to write for us, at least submit a tip! Post to the forum! There is a reason we are called “Notes from the Underground”– our news, in a real sense, is in large part “underground” news– traditional Orthodox Christians usually are deliberately sidelined by “mainstream” Orthodox news.

If you’d like to become a writer for NFTU and represent your jurisdiction– or simply focus on jurisdictional news we aren’t covering– please just email us using the contact form link above. If you are a real person, take the news seriously, and want to help us (no fake identities please) we want to know more about you, and we want you on our team.

Once again, we are always looking for more new members– cross-jurisdictionally– to add to the NFTU team. We really do want all True Orthodox jurisdictions represented, and we hope that some of those wondering why we’re so biased now understand how we collect news– and how they can help in that process.

Deacon Joseph Suaiden
General Editor, NFTU

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