Embracing the future of the Catholic press

Change can revitalize an organization. It’s not worth changing things just for the sake of change, but when faced with a real need, organizations must embrace the challenge. The Catholic Review and its parent company, The Cathedral Foundation Inc., have begun a strategic planning process to chart a path for the next three to five years as a Catholic newspaper and publishing company. The Cathedral Foundation includes more than just The Catholic Review; One of the things that drove us to this planning is the realization that while some people continue to enjoy holding a printed newspaper in their hands, the narrow definition of “newspaper” no longer fully defines what we do. Several years ago, The Catholic Review launched one of the most robust websites in the Catholic press, a website that now needs an overhaul and update. In the last year, we branched out into social networks such as Facebook and Twitter, and made more frequent use of an e-mail newsletter. Our newsroom staff is blogging more these days, too. But that’s just a start. Our Strategic Planning Committee includes three members of our board of trustees, and about 10 other professionals from media, ministry and technology around Maryland. Patricia Bosse of the College of Notre Dame of Maryland, a board member and committee chairwoman, summed up the strategic planning task early on in a discussion over the summer: How do we maintain and enhance the rhythm of communications we have through The Catholic Review in the Archdiocese of Baltimore? Our group has a few more meetings before it presents ideas and a proposal in mid-January to Archbishop Edwin F. O’Brien, our chairman and publisher, and the board. So far, we are focusing on The Catholic Review becoming a wide-ranging Catholic news vehicle/portal that addresses many different age groups. A print newspaper continues to be our primary ministry, but we should expand our efforts to publish news and information on the Web, in e-newsletters and perhaps develop apps for e-readers and smart phones. The information in one format might not be the same as that delivered in another platform. What do you, as a reader, think of this direction? How do you use the information in The Catholic Review? How do you access it now (print or online)? What would you like to see in the future? Share your thoughts with us at newideas_at_CatholicReview.org, or write to Strategic Planning, The Catholic Review, P.O. Box 777, Baltimore, MD 21201. If you are interested in being part of a focus group to talk about some of the plans we’re making, write to us at the same address or click here. It’s an exciting time to be working in this ministry of the word. We can’t wait to see what the future holds. But we’re not just waiting; we’re actively shaping it. – Christopher Gunty Editor, Associate Publisher 12/14/2010

Catholic Review

The Catholic Review is the official publication of the Archdiocese of Baltimore.