Friday, 17 August 2012

Cath News, oh Cath News...

I've closed the poll on Cath News, but I reader suggested I maintain a central place for complaints about it, and I think that is a good idea given that more than a few readers continue to send me copies of their comments complaining about its acatholicness!

Accordingly, in future I'll put up an open post, and push forward the date on it each week so that you can readily find it to post your comments.

Poll results

I've suggested in the past that there are a number of different issues with Cath News:
  • story selection, which often seems to promote the efforts of dissenters (how many National Catholic Register stories do we ever see, compared to the number of National Catholic Reporter and The Tablet?) and ignore the efforts of those genuinely trying to promote the faith;
  • sub-editing - headlines, pictures and text cuts which provide an undesirable slant on stories from a catholic perspective;
  • lack of appropriate contextual material to counter criticism of the Church;
  • Cath blog content, which often seems at odds with Church teaching; and
  • above all, the comments policy, which often seems to involve rejecting perfectly orthodox and appropriate comments.
In total, some 280 people voted, with 143 thinking it could be reformed, while 124 thought it was beyond redemption and should be destroyed.  Around a third of those who voted were prepared to pray for the cause!

Cath News comments policy

Many readers, I think, are most aggrieved about the rejection of comments over there.

It would be one thing if liberally slanted stories or erroneous comments could be readily rebutted; quite another when such comments seem regularly to be rejected!

Some 63 people indicated in the poll that they had had comments rejected, and here is there self-assessment on the reasons for that (multiple answers were allowed):

I stated the Church's (actual) teachings  - 36 (57%)

I contradicted Cath News' favoured commentators, viz the Jesuits, Timbs, etc  - 26 (41%)
I criticised women religious 18 (28%)
I disagreed with the actions of an Australian bishop  - 13 (20%)
I criticised Cath News  - 24 (38%)
Ms Hogan refuses to publish anything I say  - 16 (25%)
The smoke of the devil...  - 9 (14%)
Who knows!  - 19 (30%)

Fairly typical of the complaints I receive is the following, provided by a reader for inclusion here:

"Cath News will not include some of my comments which are in accordance with Scripture and Catholic church teaching

When they do, they sometimes delete part of the text which dilutes the substance of the point being made.

I do not malign anyone and provide the details requested

I hope readers of CN are aware that CN do not include some comments that are based on Scripture and Church teaching, and therefore the published comments are not really reflective of readers views.  

Recently CN did not include my objection to them publishing the film review of the salacious crass movie Magic Mike which I lodged twice

The problem with CN is that it may be running on a performance basis, and focussed on success in the information media.  It seems to be controlled by worldly values and modern societal opinions, and not be in the Holy Spirit. 

For a Catholic website under the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, it should be supporting the Church and have a goal of bringing readers into a strong personal relationship with Jesus Christ, rather than promoting earth-bound worldly opinions."

Let's pray the bishops take note and act.

1 comment:

hughosb said...

I have just received a subscriber survey from CathNews, and there is space to include comments about what one does NOT like about the service. Hopefully your readers will take the time to make their opinions known.
Pax!