Coming soon: CWN unveils a new approach to Catholic news coverage

By Phil Lawler (bio - articles - email) | Aug 25, 2017

For more than 20 years now, Catholic World News (CWN) has been presenting daily headline stories in the same format. That’s about to change.

In 1996 CWN began providing readers with short summaries of the top stories that would interest Catholic readers (and readers interested in Catholic affairs). We thought we were providing a valuable service, covering developments that other outlets ignored, and correcting some of the errors that cropped up in coverage in the secular media. We still believe that service is valuable.

But the world of online news coverage has changed dramatically since 1996. Today it’s very easy for any reader to find the latest news—about the Catholic Church or about any other topic—by searching the web. What’s not so easy is distinguishing between reliable news coverage and sensational accounts, between balanced perspectives and biased reporting. So even when the news is available on other outlets, CWN serves an important editorial function: separating the wheat from the chaff.

To emphasize that function, in coming days CWN will unveil a different approach to daily news coverage, putting the emphasis on our unique perspective. Here’s what you’ll find:

  • CWN will continue to offer readers a line-up of the most important headline stories every weekday. In fact we’ll greatly expand the number of headline stories on our home page.
  • When a news story that appears on another outlet is substantially accurate, we’ll provide a link, sending readers directly to that story. When the story contains an error, or a perspective that calls out for correction, we’ll include an editor’s note, letting readers know what they should understand before they begin reading the news account.
  • Of course CWN will also continue providing our own reports, when we uncover breaking news or when other outlets do not give a topic adequate coverage.

The editorial goal of CWN remains unchanged; we seek to offer readers with an accurate view of world affairs, from a distinctly Catholic perspective. With our new format we will help readers to discover the enormous resources of information that are already available online, while guiding them through the pitfalls of inaccurate coverage.

For the past few weeks we have been working behind the scenes on the details of our revised system, hoping to discover all the “bugs” before we make it public. We’re already excited about the amount of information we can convey, using this new approach. We hope that our readers will be excited, too, when we launch our revised news pages.

Stay tuned!

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: feedback - Aug. 26, 2017 5:45 PM ET USA

    Thank you for your wonderful work. I am getting from you all the Catholic news that matter. Would you be able to include a "counter" next to each news title showing the number of comments under each link? This would allow monitoring the publication of any new comments without re-clicking the links.

  • Posted by: Randal Mandock - Aug. 26, 2017 12:26 AM ET USA

    I like the idea. Among the most valuable news items from my perspective are the reports from Catholic prelates on the ground in countries under siege. I believe their accounts to be vastly more reliable than those of the itinerant reporter. Informed public policy ought to be aware of and give substantial weight to their reports. This system of embedded leaders and observers has been keeping the papacy up to date on world affairs for centuries. It should be afforded its proper respect today.

  • Posted by: mary_conces3421 - Aug. 25, 2017 10:17 PM ET USA

    Sounds great!

  • Posted by: bill129 - Aug. 25, 2017 7:46 PM ET USA

    I hope you will continue the short summaries. It must be difficult and time consuming to do, but they are so helpful.

  • Posted by: Dennis Olden - Aug. 25, 2017 6:50 PM ET USA

    Excellent idea! I have recently noticed that I have become bored with the news reports by CWN -- they just state the facts, ma'am, without any guidance for thinking about the facts in relation to Catholic teaching. Since there is nothing new under the sun, at 78 I have read all the news facts I need to. (Actually, I think that happened way back when I was about 40.) What I need is help figuring out what to think about the facts.

  • Posted by: MatJohn - Aug. 25, 2017 6:46 PM ET USA

    Looking forward to the format change. Hope you're including graphics.