Karen Franz is President of the Catholic Press Association (CPA), a professional group for Catholic periodicals and journalists which is largely of liberal complexion. She is also the General Manager and Editor of the Catholic Courier, official paper of the Diocese of Rochester, whose Publisher is Bishop Matthew Clark, one of the most liberal members of the U.S. hierarchy.
In her presidential column in the CPAs paper, The Catholic Journalist (Sept.), Franz reminds us that young people are spending more and more time on the Internet and less time reading newspapers. Franz tells us that for over three years now the Courier has operated a Web site, but that somehow its Catholic Courier Online doesnt interest the younger set any more than does the printed version. She suspects that other member periodicals of the CPA, even those with top-shelf Web sites, complete with animated graphics and other bells and whistles, are experiencing the same gloom.
Weve been hearing that most diocesan papers are having a rough go of it in terms of readership these days. So Franz is understandably perplexed, and wants to know what can be done to attract younger readers to our print and online products. She continues: Should we create chat rooms? Run games? Offer prizes? Stage glitzy promotions? I havent a clue.
We appreciate the ladys candor. Yes, were referring to her I havent a clue statement, but also to her reference to her paper and its online version as products, for the use of that term just might indicate where the problem is. A widget is a product. But a Catholic paper is not a product; its an apostolate, a vehicle of evangelization, sanctification, catechesis, forming consciences, and everything that pertains to the Kingdom of God.
You have two options:
- Online subscription: Subscribe now to New Oxford Review for access to all web content at newoxfordreview.org AND the monthly print edition for as low as $38 per year.
- Single article purchase: Purchase this article for $1.95, for viewing and printing for 48 hours.
If you're already a subscriber log-in here.