View from the choir

I am a Catholic layperson and Secular Franciscan with a sense of humor. After years in the back pew watching, I have moved into the choir. It's nice to see faces instead of the backs of heads. But I still maintain God has a sense of humor - and that we are created in God's image.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

New "Catholic Courier" website

The Catholic Courier, newspaper of the Diocese of Rochester, is apparently planning some changes to its website that offer some intriguing possibilities.

In an e-news release, the paper announced that it will be allowing for greater reader content - including submitted articles and pictures, and even blogs. They said it will be unveiled next month. I'm assuming that's when we will get more details. (Ironically, the website is down this morning so I can't bring the article back up! Shadows of things to come?!)

There are many things that the Courier currently does not cover - due to space, availability of staff, whatever - that could possibly now get in. Pro-life events? Catholic organizations' activities? Parish news? Why not?

So the kinds of things I post on my blog about the 40 Days for Life, the annual Good Friday March for life, my Secular Franciscan Order group and more might be able to get in. Other people might be able to promote speakers, Latin Masses, novenas, conferences, and so on.

And with the possibility of blogs, groups (such as the SFOs) might be able to have a regular presence. We would be able to announce events, describe activities, recruit. Maybe some intrepid souls could start a catechetical blog explaining Church teachings. Hmmm.

Of course, I'm sure there would be some restrictions. Probably no offensive content would be allowed. There would likely be limits of uncharitable attacks/criticisms of the diocese or diocesan staff, or individuals in the diocese. I'm not sure yet how far things can go. I know I got booted from a D & C forum for saying something that was critical of that newspaper. (I suggested that because my paper arrived consistently late I could just cancel it and get the news online as that was faster and more up-to-date anyway!)

I also have no idea how many people actually read the website or would do so once it's expanded. When this blog was more topical and argumentative, I used to get 5-6,000 visitors a month - a newspaper might well get lots more.

A lot of newspapers are going this route as print circulation decreases. Online news sources are replacing not only newspapers and magazines, but even television news.

As for this initiative, I await details. When I know more, I'll bring it up with my SFO group as a possible outlet. Maybe I'll start a blog of my own. Certainly I intend to post articles and pictures.

That's all I need - another way to spend time on line!


Blogger Mike said...


Were the Catholic Courier to allow much in the way of criticism, charitable or otherwise, I'd be quite surprised.

I think I'll keep my blog.

10:52 AM  
Blogger Lee Strong said...

Why not have two blogs? You might reach a wider audience.

Most of your criticisms on your blog, by the way, are fair and don't cross the line into uncharitable.

12:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The type of bloggers one will find on the updated Courier Web site, I predict, will be of much the same liturgical leanings as the ones you'll find at either the NCReporter or U.S. Catholic Web site. Basically, I expect to find articles about "Now is the time for married priests" or "We should elect our bishops" rather than "St. Stanislaus to offer Solemn High Mass this Sunday."

~Dr. K

5:07 PM  
Blogger Lee Strong said...

Dr. K - so give it a try. That's only fair, given they haven't even started it yet.

We won't know for certain what will be allowed and what won't be allowed until someone gets rejected.

And maybe they there would be no problem with announcing a solemn high Mass.

8:11 PM  

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