Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture.

Read-letter day. The Dove Foundation, which is known for reviewing movies and DVDs for family-friendly content says it’s now reviewing books, as well. And, like the movies and DVDs the group evaluates, the books will also be eligible to receive its highly-valued “Family Approved” seal.

There’s a business savvy reason for the move. “We’ve always tried to respond to the market demand for our services,” says Dove CEO Dick Rolfe, “and we began moving in the direction of books by reviewing movie screenplays from writers who were looking for our endorsement as a means of attracting producers and investors.”

After being contacted by The CBA in 2010, Dove created a task force that resulted in the addition of “Faith Friendly” and “Faith Based” seals to identify films that contain religious content. Soon Dove started receiving requests from movie producers to review novelizations and supplementary books attached to their films.  The organization was, for example, asked to review five books based on Sherwood Pictures’ Courageous.

Courageous producer Alex Kendrick says “Just as we valued Dove’s ‘Family Approved’ seal for our film, we wanted readers of the various books associated with Courageous to have the same level of confidence.” Kendrick also co-wrote, directed and starred in the film and co-wrote the novelization, as well.

What followed were discussions with several publishers who made Dove aware of the need for family-centered reviews of books, especially teen and young adult novels and children’s books.

As Dove Client Services Director Scott Rolfe tells it “We trained a team of skilled book reviewers and an editor in Dove’s unique review process…Now we have the infrastructure in place to handle the increased demand from publishers, authors and agents.”

Dove has already published reviews of more than 100 books and manuscripts to date. Additionally, the foundation has retooled its website to include a new books category alongside theatrical and DVD reviews.

The Dove Foundation reaches an estimated one-million online viewers through www.dove.org and several syndication partners’ websites. Reviews and endorsements also are sent out regularly via email to approximately 80,000 supporters and subscribers. The Foundation’s mission is to encourage and promote the creation, production, distribution and consumption of family friendly entertainment.

Encourage one another and build each other up – 1 Thessalonians 5:11

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