The LDS Church's Public Affairs Department has joined the lively, often contentious world of Mormon blogging.
The blog -- at http://newsroom.lds.org/blog/ -- will include "commentary, additional context, localized stories and background to help the news media and the public better understand news and issues related to the church," Lyman Kirkland, the department's manager of social media, wrote on the site.
The information, managed and written by the church's public-affairs staff, will be "reliable and accurate," Kirkland wrote, but "should not necessarily be viewed as official statements from the [LDS] Church."
In addition, the blog's tone will "more conversational" than the usual LDS news release, he wrote.
E-mails are welcome, but readers generally will not be able to post comments on the site. "From time to time," Kirkland said in a statement, "we may open comments on some posts."
The blog can be followed via Facebook, Twitter, e-mail subscription or rss feed.
The first entry provided a link to an essay at Get Religion.org critical of a recent Associated Press story about the church's public-relations problems in the wake of the gay-kissing incident on the Main Street Plaza in downtown Salt Lake City.
Steve Evans, a Mormon lawyer in Seattle, welcomed the addition of the church's PR blog.
"This is an immensely positive thing for the church to be doing," Evans wrote on the LDS blog he helped create, bycommonconsent.com. "It helps to show a human quality to their public-affairs efforts, and should make for some fascinating reading."
This new blog can be found http://newsroom.lds.org/blog/