HARRISONBURG, Va. (Mennonite Mission Network) - Thirteen years ago, Mennonite Media began a series aimed at taking viewers deeper than the headlines. In November, eight years after the last video was produced, the series has another headline of its own.
The Beyond the News video series, which provides targeted video discussion starters for churches and small groups on topics in the news, sold its 10,000th copy in November.
Jerry L. Holsopple, professor of visual and communications arts at Eastern Mennonite University, launched the series in 1993 as a producer for the Mennonite Media department of one of Mennonite Mission Network’s predecessor agencies.
The award-winning series includes 11 videos/DVDs examining immigration, racism, money, adolescents, television violence, sexual abuse, capital punishment, gun violence, death, homelessness and other topics. Several of the editions were re-released on DVD in 2006, some with new bonus content.
The single Beyond the News video with the most sales was the first one produced, Sexual Abuse with 2,238 sold. This includes 1,336 sold on a royalty basis through a major video distributor. TV Violence & You sold 1,447 copies, the second-highest total, also distributed on a royalty basis through Films for Humanities. Racism, the third highest selling video in the series, has sold 1,033.
One of the most notable sales was in 1997 when Ecumenical Ministries of Iowa bought 50 copies of Murder Close Up and distributed them to state senators in an effort to keep the death penalty from being reinstated in Iowa.
In 2007, the city of Augusta, Ga., purchased 50 copies of Beyond the News: Racism to use in that city’s training efforts to combat racism.
A recent flier sent to churches, funeral homes, hospitals, hospice systems and other agencies helped propel the Beyond the News series over the 10,000 mark. The advertisement offered a variety of resources for the end of life including Beyond the News: Facing Death. Nate Barker served as producer for Facing Death.
The Beyond the News series passed 5,000 in sales in 1997 and ceased new production in 1999.
The video or DVD series can be purchased at Mennonite Media's online store.