Action Alert!

Fortnight? What fortnight?

By Phil Lawler (bio - articles - email) | Jun 25, 2012

A friend just contacted me: a reporter for a secular media outlet. At an editorial conference, he had suggested some coverage of the Fortnight for Freedom, and drawn blank stares from his colleagues. Fortnight for what? None of the other reporters or news editors had heard anything about the bishops' initiative. None of the local newspapers had carried any coverage. It wasn't in the TV or radio news reports. 

Are the secular news outlets ignoring this story? Absolutely. But there's something more to it than that. 

This particular news outlet had not received anything from local Church officials. No official statements. No press releases. No notices of coming events. Nothing from the local diocesan offices. Nothing from the state Catholic conference. Nothing from the bishops. Nothing from the Catholic universities in the region. Nothing.  

In the Catholic media, the Fortnight for Freedom is big news. Unfortunately, the people who pay attention to the Catholic media are not, by and large, the people who need to be convinced. We're preaching to the choir. In order for this initiative to be successful, the news must reach the general public, and that will require working with the secular media as well. On the national level, Cardinal Dolan and Archbishop Lori and the US bishops' conference have been doing their best to focus public attention on the threats to religious freedom. But they need help from the local dioceses. All of them.

Phil Lawler has been a Catholic journalist for more than 30 years. He has edited several Catholic magazines and written eight books. Founder of Catholic World News, he is the news director and lead analyst at See full bio.

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  • Posted by: polish.pinecone4371 - Jun. 26, 2012 6:19 PM ET USA

    As Jed Klampett once said, “Pitiful, just pitiful.”