Diocesan News

Brooklyn Newspaper Editor Honored For Telling Story of ‘a Church that is alive’

Ed Wilkinson accepts the St. Francis De Sales “Distinguished Communicator Award” from Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio, May 9. (Photo: Marie Elena Giossi)

By Christopher White, The Tablet’s National Correspondent

NEW YORK – One of the nation’s longest serving diocesan newspaper editors was honored on Wednesday for his commitment to what Pope Francis has termed a “journalism for peace.”

Ed Wilkinson, editor of the Brooklyn diocesan newspaper, The Tablet, was awarded the St. Francis de Sales Distinguished Communicator Award at the diocese of Brooklyn’s 27th annual World Communications Day Catholic Media Conference.

The annual award is presented by DeSales Media Group, the communications and technology arm of the diocese of Brooklyn.

Previous awardees have included Cardinal Joseph Tobin of Newark, New Jersey; Father Thomas Rosica, founder of Salt + Light Catholic Media; and number of leading journalists from the New York area.

Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio of Brooklyn praised Wilkinson as “a man of passion when it comes to the news.”

Wilkinson has worked for The Tablet for over 48 years and has been its
editor since 1985. During that time, he has won numerous awards from the Catholic Press Association for both writing and photography, and during Pope John Paul II’s 1995 visit to New York he personally presented him with a copy of the paper.

Before the keynote speech by Wilkinson, a presentation showcased the Tablet editor’s storied career as the diocesan newspaper editor, including his first byline for the Tablet, in which he was referred to back then as “Edward Wilkinson.” (Photo: Matthew O’Connor)

The Tablet is a weekly publication and has been in print for 110 years, boasting a current circulation of nearly 75,000 in 45 states across the country.

Wilkinson used the occasion of Wednesday’s award luncheon to herald the fact that The Tablet continues to thrive at a time when many diocesan papers have gone out of print.

He specifically praised the leadership of Bishop DiMarzio for his concern for mass communications, and specifically, The Tablet.

DeSales Media Group also used the occasion to promote its forthcoming campaign to boost individual subscriptions to the paper, which Wilkinson will help oversee.

“We still believe there’s a future in print media,” said Wilkinson.

Looking back over his storied career, Wilkinson said his commitment was simple: “to tell the story of the Church in Brooklyn and Queens.”

He went on to add that it is a story of “a Church that is alive,” noting that he’s dedicated special attention to ensuring that all readers, regardless of their backgrounds, could find themselves in the pages of The Tablet.

Father Thomas Dailey, who serves as the John Cardinal Foley Chair of Homiletics and Social Communications, at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Philadelphia o!ered a reflection on Pope Francis’ 2018 World Communications Day message where he charged journalists to be committed to truth.

Drawing on the theme of Francis’ message, “The Truth Will Set You Free: Fake News and Journalism for Peace,” Dailey said “we need reliable and trustworthy sources of information.”

“The Tablet has been and continues to be that source,” he added.

Father Dailey summarized Pope Francis’s charge to journalists as being “dedicated to truth, promoting charity, and inspiring hope.”

“If that is a creed of a Catholic journalist, I think you all will agree with me that Ed Wilkinson has professed that,” said Father Dailey.

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