Wednesday, April 21, 2010


Last week I was invited to hear a talk given by Teresa Tomeo. She is a veteran broadcast journalist that worked in the Detroit area for many years. If you would like to read more about her and her career and subsequent rediscovery of her Catholic roots look here.

Coming from an insider’s perspective she told how our newsrooms are generally staffed with people who know little about the Church or our faith or who may even be hostile toward it. This is easy to see from reading local newspapers how many errors in reporting our faith there is. It can be frustrating at times and I wonder if they could they not have asked somebody who really knows the faith to check their reporting before they go to print.

She gave several suggestions for engaging the various news media out there in hopes of helping them understand us better and report on the Church in a more fair, informative, and truthful manner. What follows are her suggestions:

1) Pray for those in mass media. Pray for those who are hostile toward the faith, pray for those who report errors because of a misunderstanding of the faith, and pray for Catholics who feel pressured by their peers. The point is not to make them a Catholic news source but a better, more factual news source.

2) Know your stuff. We cannot help others know their stuff if we do not know it. Read documents. Go to sources. Find out the story.

3) Encourage Christians to go into secular media. Our first knee jerk reaction is to say, “Fine. Then I’ll abandon you.” But then nothing changes. Rather, enter the problem and be part of the solution. Then go back to step one.

4) Support Catholic and other Christian media that helps get the other side of the story out.

5) Examine your own media habits. Is it fair and balanced?

6) Be proactive with the media rather than reactive. If there is something going on important in your area and you or someone you know is an expert on the topic contact the media and let them know that this person is available for research or interview.

7) Write to the editor. You may not get published and that is Okay. However your letter may be the only source to broaden the editor’s perspective in the matter.

8) Be polite. Don’t fuel a stereotype or give reason for someone to be further distanced from wanting to cooperate in getting the full story.

9) Don’t give up. Like Monica praying for Augustine keep plugging ahead. Who knows what good might be going on even if you are not aware of it?


Anonymous said...

I like Teresa Tomeo.
What has happened these past few weeks in The New York Times has been disgusting.
When errors are pointed out, they sometimes just print/link to it as if it is a different perspective, not the truth.
In that situation, I am distancing myself from them although generally I agree with Mrs. Tomeo.
The lawyer trying to create a case against the Pope is using the media to sway opinion and create something that isn't there.

But I am still praying for them....

Anonymous said...

Father, I read half a dozen newspapers a day on the web. Teresa Tomei (isn't that a beautiful name?) is correct. And I have been trying to straighten out these dumb and insolent writers . . . . but to little avail. You know how the NYTimes has been bashing the Pope. Whenever I find such an article I check to see who wrote it, and then I contact that writer by e-mail and explain. Usually those writers are just prattling what some other ignorant person has said.

bob kraus sr

Unknown said...


My name is Rev Robert Wright, Editor for, a social network made specifically for Christians, by Christians. We embarked on this endeavor to offer the entire Christian community an outlet to join together and better spread the good word of Christianity. has many great features like Christian TV, prayer requests, finding a church, receiving church updates and advice. We have emailed you to collaborate with you and your blog to help spread the good word of Christianity. I look forward to your response regarding this matter. Thanks!

Rev. Robert Wright

Catholic Writer said...

I especially love point #9!

Anonymous said...

The media is actually less biased than you, with less of an agenda.

Fr. V said...

Oh, I think we are pretty equal. I think I am more honest about it though.