Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Cath News watch...

Today's special from Cath News for the start of Lent: a self-justifying interview with Caritas International Secretary-General Lesley-Anne Knight whose re-appointment has been blocked by the Vatican, from the National Catholic Reporter.

What the Cath News article doesn't say: The Vatican has indicated that it has rejected the re-appointment of Dr Knight because it wants a new leader who can strengthen the organization's Catholic identity and forge more cordial working relations with the Holy See.


Tony said...

There is an article, date 8 March, which is headed Vatican defends decision on Caritas official.

That article, in turn, is linked to the original at the Catholic News Agency.

Wouldn't it be fair to mention that?

Kate said...

Tony - So why couldn't today's item have included the link to yesterday's as well?

My point is firstly why include this opinion piece at all. The decision has been made, why endlessly debate it in public? To do so just promotes a dissenting mentality.

But if the editors really thought it had to be included becuase the debate really is raging out there (although is it, anywhere other than the bitter pill and the acatholic reporter that is?) why couldn't it be contextualised a little? Not everyone diligently reads or remembers every item on Cath News each day!

Tony said...

Surely on that basis, Kate, you are guilty of the same 'offence'? If you expect, in all fairness, for CathNews to contextualise it's material why didn't you contextualise yours?

Kate said...

Tony, I'm glad someone is willing to defend Cath News here, but you appear to have entirely missed my point...

So let me try once more.

When Cath News reports a story that is critical of the Church or promotes a dissenting view, if it really must be included, my suggestion is tha they should add or link to some material that puts it in context. What was in the subscriber email or website on osme other day is completely irrelevant to this!

I could equally have made the same comment on the Bishop Power story for example, noting the absence of any link to the appointment of an apostolic administrator for Wilcannia-Forbes some months back. No doubt Cath News reported that too some time back, but are people really expected to remember?

Just a suggestion!

Tony said...

As I said, Kate, it's not a matter of me defending CathNews, I've heard it just as stridently condemned by others of a more liberal persuasion.

But in an earlier exchange you talked about fairness and in your defence, here, you've talked about 'contextualising'.

These are your benchmarks.

Tony said...

On the more general point, I think the idea of providing -- to use your term -- 'contextualising' links is a very good one, in fact, the more the better.

I also think, again to be fair, it should apply to all stories.

And I think that CathNews should be more transparent. I've heard of other people writing to the editors about particular issues and not getting any response.

But, the bottom line is that CathNews is an agency of the church and operates under the auspices of the Bishops. It's only accountable to them, not its consumers.

Kate said...

Well maybe they are formally accountable to the bishops (although I think in fact technically to or through the Catholic Resources Board).

But every organization is accountable to its consumers to a degree. The problem is, when you have a cross-subsidized service that is free to consumers, the accountability tends in practice to be very weak!