After 18 months of planning and untold hours of work, this week we launched new formats for the Catholic Review. Our new print edition arrived in mailboxes around Maryland this week, and the same day, our completion re-envisioned website landed on computer screens and tablets everywhere.
These are not just cosmetic changes. We didn’t just pick out some new type fonts for the print edition and a new color scheme for the Web.
The print edition will feature a new way of looking at the way we present the news, the way we help you understand your world, the way we help you engage with your community. In fact, as our strategic planning committee looked at the big picture, we considered changing our name to The Catholic View, to emphasize that we’re providing a Catholic perspective on all things, not just a Review of the past week or two. That would have harkened back to our heritage and our link to the original Catholic newspaper in Baltimore, The Catholic Mirror, founded in 1833. In the end, we decided to keep the name the Catholic Review, because it has been around for almost 100 years and has a great tradition in this great archdiocese. But we will embrace the sentiment of the committee’s suggestion by providing more “think pieces” – the how and why behind complex issues that relate to our faith, not just what happened. The “Marriage: It still matters” story in print and online this week is a fine example of that.
On the Web, we started from the ground up. When it was designed several years ago, the Catholic Review’s website was one of the more dynamic Catholic newspaper sites in the country, with audio files and other info. But it had become stale, and was hard to navigate. Our new site finally has a search bar to make it easier to find content throughout the site. But the best thing about the site is the content. We’ll have depth that most Catholic sites don’t have, and we’ll be fresh every day. There will be stories and blogs to help you integrate your life, work and “play” with your faith. There are sections to reach out to Generations of children, teens and young adults. Catholic Resources will be available.
As Cardinal-designate Edwin F. O’Brien said Jan. 25, “Everybody’s wondering, ‘How do we get a Catholic press that’s more effective?’ and I think we’ve found the key.”
We’re not finished. The site is up, but we’re still adding content and sections. The site is still evolving. You can be a part of the discussion –and the evolution. Register as a member of the site to be able to comment and send in events and other material.
“We’re very proud of the changes and we’re really leading the country in this,” Cardinal-designate O’Brien said.
Thanks for visiting, and checking out the new CatholicReview.org. Let us know what you think of our new direction. To see what we’re talking about in the print edition, click here to subscribe, or send me an email and I’ll send you a copy of our new edition.
We chose this week for our launch to coincide with the feast of St. Francis de Sales, the patron saint of journalists. We needed all the spiritual help we could muster. So, please keep us in your prayers as we move forward with this exciting mission of communications.
CEO, Catholic Review Media
Associate Publisher/Editor, the Catholic Review
January 26, 2012