February used to be celebrated with many activities as Catholic Press Month. We would have posters, subscription drives and announcements from the pulpit.
These days, the communications apostolate has become more diverse. Right here in our own diocese, we have the DeSales Media Group which is the parent company of The Tablet as well NET-TV, the diocesan information office, educational television for our schools, and social media and IT division that assists communications across the diocese.
While the diocesan newspaper remains a major component of our media efforts, it works side-by-side and in cooperation with the many other vehicles now available.
As a matter of fact, our newspaper people are regulars on diocesan TV programs, and electronic journalists assist print in gathering the news each week. No one in the office wears one hat; we all work across platforms.
A recent cooperative effort involved the new look of The Tablet’s website. Our intrepid social media department has given the site a new look and we’re all excited about it. Not only does it look different, but it also contains new features.
The first thing you should notice is the bright look that comes from a judicious use of white space. The news and the columnists are arranged in a vertical look so that they are more obvious and more easily accessible.
One of the new features is our poll that can be found toward the bottom of the home page. In our first question, we asked readers if they agreed with the U.S. plans to renormalize relations with Cuba. Fifty-two percent said they did not and 48 percent said they did agree.
We were disappointed by the small number of people who answered the question. While our data shows thousands of visitors to the site, only 75 people chose to respond to the poll.
Was that because readers were not used to looking for the poll? Hopefully, as word about the feature spreads, more viewers will become familiar with it and participate. When you cast your vote, you can immediately click to the results and see an up-to-the-minute summary of what others think.
The current question is “Will abortion be outlawed in the U.S. in your lifetime?” Two-thirds think it will be declared illegal and one-third say it will remain legal.
Another new offering is our daily headlines that informs you of articles in The Tablet, shows coming up on NET and news from around the web. For directions on how to have it delivered to your device, go to this page.
Because of the merger into DeSales, The Tablet remains one of the healthiest diocesan newspapers in the country.
At a time when other dioceses are cutting the frequency of publication or relying totally on an online product, The Tablet is actually printing more pages per week than it did in the recent past.
Of course, none of this would be possible if not for a publisher-bishop who believes in communications. Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio has been firmly committed to continuing the long tradition of quality journalism in this diocese. His support can be seen in his weekly column that he faithfully produces.
Maybe Catholic Press Month isn’t what it used to be. But here in Brooklyn and Queens – and to our many readers across the country – the Catholic Press is alive and well keeping you informed in so many ways about what is happening in the Church.