There is an article in Our Sunday Visitor (OSV) online about bloggers covering Pope Benedict XVI's visit to the US. Several well known bloggers are interviewed. Here are a few excerpts from Bloggers driving media coverage of U.S. papal visit, by Mary DeTurris Poust. You'll notice that while these folks were interviewed separately, they all say some of the same things, which mirror's my thoughts, as well. Blogging is "helping" the media to get a little more pure in Catholic coverage with time. The secular media, which once got away with all kinds of reporting errors and had a propensity to seek out dissenting members of the Catholic faith as "experts", has been nudged into corrections and getting perspectives from non-dissenters.
The media frenzy surrounding Pope Benedict’s visit to the United States is being driven in part by a newcomer on the media block: bloggers. For the first time in history, a U.S. papal visit is being covered around the clock by bloggers of all stripes – Catholic and secular, independent and staff, spiritually focused and news focused – and they are doing what they do best, bringing online readers information almost as fast as it happens.
It’s a new way of covering the pope, and, according to those on the front lines, it is changing the landscape of media coverage in general, bringing to light errors in the press that might otherwise go uncorrected and creating communities of people who not only read the news but participate in it through comments and e-mails.
It's the new evangelization at it's best!
Tom Peters at American Papist is quoted:
“Blogs add a personal dimension that mainstream coverage lacks (ostensibly for purposes of objectivity). They also present near-instant reaction to events and response to errors in mainstream reporting,” said Thomas Peters of American Papist, a popular Catholic blog which, as the name suggests, covers all things pope-related.
“They sometimes let you see the event ‘from the inside,’ by posting their own pictures, experiences, word-of-mouth and the thousand of little things that have trouble filtering through traditional media intact,” Peters told OSV in an e-mail interview as he geared up to cover the papal visit.
Catholic author and blogger Amy Welborn from Charlotte was both and formerly of Open Book was also quoted. I agree wholeheartedly with this viewpoint as I did with the one above. Amy has been asked to participate in the NY Times blog about the Pope's visit. You have to really scroll among other bloggers from various backgrounds to see her posts.
Amy Welborn, who writes the blog Charlotte Was Both and, during the papal visit, will also be blogging as part of a team for The New York Times’ A Papal Discussion blog, told OSV in an e-mail interview that, although she has nothing to prove it, she does think that “bloggers have had an impact on media coverage of the pope.”
She said that she is seeing “diversity in the press’ coverage” of the papal visit and that even the fact that she was asked to be part of the Times blog says something about the role of bloggers in modern media coverage.
“Bloggers can add a corrective to media errors, they can add context as the result of deeper knowledge of matters Catholic and papal, and they can add their own stories – for those bloggers that will be attending events,” she said.
And another popular Catholic blogger:
Jeff Miller, who blogs as The Curt Jester, another popular Catholic blog site, agreed with Welborn, saying that Catholic bloggers “add a dimension to traditional media coverage” that is often ignorant of the intricacies of Catholic teaching and tradition and, in the case of the papal visit, could try “to fit the pope and what the Church teaches into their own template.”
“Catholic bloggers can add a perspective not much seen in the media and can also critique the media coverage,” Miller said in an e-mail interview.
Rocco Palmo of Whispers in the Loggia had this to say:
Blog readers, Palmo said, are extra loyal and run the gamut – right and left, priests and bishops, people in the pews and non-Catholics. He said that the hunger for the information bloggers can provide is a sign that Catholic communications in this country “needs a new vision.”
I think perhaps that the USCCB's site, Christ Our Hope, and the blog that goes with it, are examples of this new vision of commnication. They have truly done a good job with this and it is manned, at least from all I've seen thus far, by young people visibly enthusiastic about our Pope.
OTHER BLOG NOTES
In other news from the blogosphere, the Rev. Robert Sirico's interview on Fox News regarding the Holy Father's visit can be seen at the Acton Institute's Power Blog.
I have also been led to the blog of Christopher Blosser which is dedicated to Pope Benedict's US visit. I'll be checking in on this blog along with others I have listed. Go check: Benedict in America.
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