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Photo illustration by Lane Denson, United Methodist Communications

The scoop on following General Conference


By Diane Degnan

Delegates will be in the thick of things in Portland, but for each of the 5,000 or so United Methodists expected to be at General Conference, another 2,400 will be far from the legislative hustle and bustle of the Oregon Convention Center.

But you don’t have to be in the City of Roses to stay in the loop.

The history of news coverage for the United Methodist quadrennial event is long. Even in the 19th century, interested parties could get the lowdown on what was happening at the Methodist General Conference via newspaper.

By the mid-1950s, radio and TV coverage told the stories. In the 1980s, computers and satellites made quicker, more in-depth reporting possible. Today, there are more ways than ever before to stay informed and up-to-date.

There is something for everyone, no matter your preference. What is your news style?

You want the whole picture: If you long to be in Portland but it’s just not possible, you can still stay close to the action with live streaming video. Don’t miss a minute of the big event.

You like to get in the mix: Twitter is for you. Follow @UMCGC to get the 4-1-1 and join the global conversation using the hashtag #UMCGC. United Methodist Communications tells you how to get started on page 15 of our toolkit.

You wonder what’s happening behind the scenes: Stay clued in by visiting the digital lounge to watch interviews with notables and newsmakers, as well as folks who are out of the spotlight but critical to the event’s success.

You want the local angle: Many annual conference communicators will cover the conference from their delegation’s perspective or with an eye toward localizing the news for congregations in their area. Check your annual conference website and social channels.

You want the highlights so you can pick and choose: Follow the General Conference on Facebook to keep well informed. If social media isn’t your cup of tea, subscribe to the UMNS daily digest and get the news in your inbox; then click to learn more.

You have a cellphone fixation: Our General Conference mobile app is right up your alley. Get everything you need in the palm of your hand.

You want someone to break it down for you: United Methodist News Service will be posting breaking news stories all day, every day, as well as in-depth coverage and analysis. Follow them on Facebook and Twitter, too.

You’re a dyed-in-the-wool General Conference buff: If you’re a serious devotee of all things General Conference, find everything in one place at the General Conference website for an easy, user-friendly experience.