Effective Jan. 13, the weekly email edition of the Baptist Standard will be available without a paid subscription—the first time in its 131-year history the Standard will not be a subscription-based news source.
The weekly newsletter of the Standard is emailed every Thursday and contains all the content published to baptiststandard.com each week. Content includes news, opinion and resources by, for and about Baptists in Texas and around the world, as well as articles about the broader Christian faith.
Current email subscribers will continue to receive the weekly newsletter and will not be prompted to renew their subscription. To start receiving the weekly newsletter, sign up here.
Baptist Standard Publishing will continue to offer CommonCall, a print magazine launched in 2012. CommonCall supplements the Standard with human-interest stories unique to the magazine. The magazine will continue to be available with a paid subscription.
From an idea to print to digital
The Baptist Standard newspaper was published under that name for the first time in 1892. Prior to that, it was The Baptist News, the first edition being published Dec. 6, 1888.
With the rise of the Internet and the growth of and demand for digital communication, the Baptist Standard website launched in the 1990s, and the Standard later began offering a bi-weekly digital version of the print edition.
Partly as a result of increasing printing and mailing costs and decreasing revenue, the last print edition of the Standard was published Dec. 17, 2012. Despite the cessation of the print newspaper, the Standard continued to publish all the same news, opinion and resources online.
For many years, the Standard was mailed to subscribers for $2 per year. The annual subscription rate eventually went as high as $24 per year for the print edition. With the introduction of the digital edition, an annual subscription cost $10 per year and remained at that level until the end of 2019.
Subscription rates never covered the full cost of publishing the Baptist Standard. Advertising, donations and an endowment covered what subscription revenue did not. Baptist Standard Publishing will continue to rely on advertising, donations and its endowment.
New digital products coming soon
In addition to offering the Baptist Standard weekly email newsletter without a paid subscription, Baptist Standard Publishing also plans to launch a mobile app for iPhone and Android devices and a podcast. Both are in production. Details about the podcast will be made public closer to the release date.
“For those who follow the Standard on social media, the app will allow readers to keep up with all the content they want to read instead of only seeing the content social media algorithms will show them,” Baptist Standard Editor Eric Black said.
“Our decision to let go of paid subscriptions for the Standard, while related to the bottom line, ultimately is driven by our desire for as many people to be impacted by our content as possible.
“We are driven by our mission and our core commitments. Our core commitments are historic Baptist principles, responsible journalism and the redeeming and reconciling work of Jesus Christ. Our mission is to inform, inspire and challenge people to live like Jesus. Ending paid subscriptions for digital content and launching new digital platforms enables us to encourage more people to follow Jesus.”