Bishops to close Catholic News Service at Years’ End
No single newspaper can afford to have reporters stationed in every nation and on every beat. For that reason, much of what we read in our newspapers and web sites originates with a wire service such as the Associated Press. Reporters employed by such wire services write up the news, and copy from their stories is sold to media outlets across the country.
For more than a century the US Conference of Catholic Bishops has operated its own wire service, known as Catholic News Service. The reporters there – union members represented by TNG-CWA (The Newspaper Guild-Communications Workers of America) – provide professional coverage of events in the Catholic Church, stories that regularly appear in your Diocesan newspaper or website.
Unfortunately, after 2022 this will no longer the case. In early May, the USCCB announced that Catholic News Service would cease operations, at least in the United States, at the end of the year. (There seem to be plans to keep a Vatican office open).
The Catholic Labor Network is saddened to see this important institution closed. Most secular reporters employed by for-profit newspapers and magazines lack the in-depth knowledge of the Catholic Church that informs the coverage of Catholic News Service. Reporters like Mark Pattison and Dennis Sadowski, for example, have brought their sound understanding of Catholic Social Teaching on labor and work to their coverage of Catholic Labor Network activities.
Without the important work of Catholic News Service reporters, American Catholics will know less about their Church. And that’s a tragedy.
I think we all have our suspicions why the bishops chose to close the Catholic News Service. I’ve been a journalist for more than 40 years and the CNS is indeed highly respected.
“No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house.” Matthew 5:15