Wednesday, 26 November 2014

On Contemporary Catholic Journalism

Excellence for some is a dirty word. Few students are allowed to shine, to become the best, to be competitive.
I shall not mention any names, but years ago, I was close to the editor of a famous British periodical.

At one lunch, I met the new editor who was taking over the magazine at the time. Later on, on the phone, speaking with a now passed away Catholic intellectual, with whom my family was very close, I noted I had met this new editor.

This friend of mine noted this, "One cannot work with second-rate people", and what he meant was that success could not be found with "mediocrity." Also, he noted this appointment would bring the downfall of this periodical, which it did.

What I am seeing in English Catholic newspapers and periodicals is a soup of mediocrity. There are no first-rate writers, that one can hardly wait to read daily or weekly.

Several reasons account for this sad state of Catholic journalism in England, but the main reason is a powerful anti-intellectualism, which causes poor choices in appointments, topics and zero intelligent commentary.

The Catholic Faith is built on Revelation and Reason. If reason is set-aside, the edifice falls. That publishing firms do not hire top scholars to work for their papers or magazines points to the dumbing-down of journalism, to the point where the mediocre are not only writing pablum, but are in charge.

How sad that the great heritage of Catholic writing in England has been undermined by second-rate writers. How sad that no one really cares if these newspapers or magazines do not make succinct and pertinent commentary on such things as the recent Synod.

Until reason becomes a basis for journalism, changing formats will not draw faithful readership.

The English were once known for not only being wordsmiths, but having a high level of rational discourse in daily and weekly writing.

The Catholic Church in England is not being served by the continuation of mediocrity. If there was ever a time for a new approach to Catholic journalism, it is now. Where are the best and the brightest Catholic writers in England? Where is the paper or magazine which we wait for earnestly weekly or daily?

Where is the excellence in sharing the truth of Catholic teaching through words and wit?

1 comment:

  1. I would be content if Catholic publications merely published/copied words from those who ARE the good speakers/preachers/writers, so their words/blessings can be more widespread. I am blessed that here in the United States in Michigan in nearby parishes we have Fr. John Riccardo, Al Kresta, Ralph Martin and others who are extremely proficient at delivering God's word in ways which are educating and interesting to hearers --- of all ages. My small parish has 25 in formation for priests and sisters; the Word is being heard, when it is effectively preached.


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