How to Write an Article on Periodicals
An article on a periodical provides basic factual information in narrative form. Articles for discontinued periodicals will contain more detail than currently publishing periodicals. Length of article will vary considerably, and should reflect the breadth of readership, length of publication and impact on the Mennonite community. Thus a briefly published periodical to a limited audience may be 100 words, while a discontinued denominational journal of 75 or 100 years duration may approach 1000 words. Brevity is best. For questions on style contact an editor or see GAMEO's Style Sheet for Authors.
Elements to be considered for the article
- The term (Periodical) should follow the title of the article, i.e. Mennonitische Rundschau (Periodical)
- Exact name of periodical and any changes with date(s) of change
- Dates established; discontinued (where applicable)
- Predecessor publication(s) (where applicable)
- Place(s) of publication
- Denominational affiliation where applicable
- Editor(s) and associate/assistant editor(s). (Note: The text should include the founding editor and other editors who had a significant influence on the periodical. A separate table should show all the editors with name, years of service, and any other significant information.)
- Purpose (from founding documents; first issue, etc.)
- Masthead statement(s), i.e. the "motto" of the periodical
- Character/Impact (This is the location of information and the writer's opinion on the nature, role and impact of the periodical. This is a core paragraph of the article)
- Size(s): size of page, number and width of columns, pages per issue
- Circulation: number, range of subscribers, subscription cost(s)
- Special columnists
- Special issues
- Details on availability of index to periodical
- Microfilm format and availability (if available), e.g.
- Identify periodical's website, where applicable
- Successor periodical(s) (where applicable)
- Bibliography or list of sources and location(s) of complete or nearly complete holdings of the periodical
Structure of the Article
Not all twenty elements need to be included, since some may not be relevant or not available. Controversial aspects of a periodical's history should not be ignored, but dealt with in a factual and balanced manner.
Periodical entries may be accompanied by up to two photographs -- one of an early or current issue and possibly the most significant editor in the life of the periodical. All photographs should be credited and dated. If possible, the place the photograph was taken should be given.
If you have questions, please contact any member of the Encyclopedia's Editorial Board.
The Canadian Mennonite (1953-1971)(Periodical)
The Canadian Mennonite was a weekly periodical founded in 1953 by D.W. Friesen & Sons in Altona, Manitoba. After an introductory issue dated 3 July 1953, the paper appeared regularly from 16 October 1953 until the final 32-page issue on 19 February 1971. At a time when Mennonite denominational papers in Canada still used German almost exclusively, this private initiative sought to reach out to many Canadian Mennonite young people and others who did not or could not read German-language periodicals. The publisher identified the paper as “Devoted to the affairs of Mennonites in Canada.”
An Advisory Board of Consulting Editors was appointed in June 1959. On 1 October 1962 the paper was transferred to The Canadian Mennonite Publishing Company with over 200 shareholders representing at least eight Mennonite groups. The first elected 12-member Board of Directors included four of the earlier Consulting Editors. It announced that “the basic format and direction of the paper remains the same.” At the direction of the shareholders, the Company was converted to a new non-profit Canadian Mennonite Association in June 1963. The publishing office moved from Altona to Winnipeg in February 1965. A further name change to Canadian Mennonite Publishing Association took place in April 1967.
Frank H. Epp, Abbotsford, BC was appointed as the paper’s first editor following his graduation from Canadian Mennonite Bible College. Over the years several assistant or associate editors shared the responsibility: Larry Kehler (July 1955-July 1956); Aaron Klassen (June 1959-June 1961); David Kroeker (May 1963-August 1969); George C. Friesen (August 1969-). Kehler rejoined the editorial staff in June 1966 and succeeded Frank Epp as Editor and General Manager in August 1967. Part-time staff included William Klassen (Bible Study Editor, January 1966-October 1967); Albert Zehr (Ontario Editor, September 1968-August 1969); Vernon Leis (Ontario, August 1969-1971); Hugo Jantz (BC Editor, May 1969-1971).
The format throughout its history was 28 x 38 cm with five columns of text and photographs. Normal size was 8 pages, but 10 or 12-page issues were not uncommon. The non-profit paper was funded by advertising revenue and subscription income. Rates rose gradually from $2 per year to $5.
The masthead sub-title of the paper was “A weekly paper of news and opinion,” although Biblical quotations were also used in the earlier years. In addition to reporting news about Mennonites in Canada and beyond, regular features of the paper included book reviews and notes, reports on schools, institutes and colleges, and articles of “opinion, interpretation and comment.” The Glory and the Shame, a collection of editorials by Frank H. Epp published in booklet form in 1968, is a reflection of the paper’s stance. Swath and Sheaf, a booklet of selections from a columnist using the pen name “Isbrandt Hildebrand,” shows another forum in which potentially controversial issues were treated.
The subscriber base of the paper remained too small to sustain it financially, even with the added revenue from advertising. After a peak of about 6,000 in 1966, it again declined to just over 4,000 when the directors decided to end the publication. Most subscribers were from western Canada.
Bound sets are held at Mennonite archives and historical libraries. A manuscript index to the paper is located at the Mennonite Archives of Ontario at Conrad Grebel University College, Waterloo, ON and the Mennonite Heritage Centre, Winnipeg, MB.
Although The Canadian Mennonite was unable to sustain itself, it clearly filled a need while it was in existence. On the date of its last issue, an ad hoc group met at the MCC (Ontario) offices in Kitchener to discuss how to fill “the communication gap left on February 19 when The Canadian Mennonite was last published.” In August, 1971, the first issue of The Mennonite Reporter, with editorial team of Frank H. Epp and Dave Kroeker, appeared to fill that gap.
Written February 2005 by Adolf Ens, Winnipeg, MB
“Introducing The Canadian Mennonite.” Canadian Mennonite (3 July 1953).
“High Aims and High Hopes.” Canadian Mennonite (16 October 1953).
Friesen, T.E. “The Story of The Canadian Mennonite.” Canadian Mennonite (14 August 1959): 2.
“New Venture of Faith.” Canadian Mennonite (5 October 1962): 1, 6.
Kehler, Larry. “CM will cease publication.” Canadian Mennonite (13 November 1970).
Hildebrand, Isbrandt. Swath and Sheaf. Winnipeg: Canadian Mennonite Publishing Association, 1970.
Epp, Frank H. The Glory and the Shame. Winnipeg: Canadian Mennonite Publishing Association, 1968.
The Archives of the Canadian Mennonite are located at the Mennonite Archives of Ontario.