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Interview of the new CNS editor in chief

Thursday 1 September 2016, by SIGNIS

New York, September, 1st, 2016 (America Magazine). America Magazine has recently held a very intresting interview with Greg Erlandson, a lay Catholic journalist, editor and author who will become the director and editor in chief of Catholic News Service (CNS) on Sept. 12. Before this job, he served 15 years as president and publisher of Our Sunday Visitor Publishing, he is a former president of the Catholic Press Association and has also served as consultor for the Pontifical Council for Social Communications.

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Greg Erlandson

In this interview, he explains what his goals for the future are, and what his former experience had given him. He explains that “In this world of multiple communications channels and constricted resources, Catholic News Service is an important partner and collaborator with diocesan newspapers, websites and communications staff in serving Catholics in the pew both in this country and abroad. By helping them meet the needs of their readers and keeping them informed, we are providing a vital service for the church as a whole.”

He also gave his opinion on the value of the Catholic press today: “We are inundated by information, and it arrives often instantaneously and unbidden on our tablets and smartphones. We are all aware of the basics: who, what, and where. But we are starved for the why. We are lacking context. (…).Understanding the significance of what we are seeing, putting it in context, avoiding the herd mentality that typifies much of news feed journalism—that is the task that the Catholic press can and must assume.

During his interview, he also expressed his concerns regarding the decline of newspapers and print outlets, as well as his hopes for the Catholic press to embrace new forms of media in the future : “The challenge is finding the way to invest in the right tools, and to afford our both/and environment: print, blogging and social media, YouTube and livestreaming services like Periscope and Facebook Live, Instagram and photo services.”

He concluded by saying that “We need Catholic communicators to care passionately about the church, and we need church leaders—at the parish, the chancery and nationally—to care passionately about Catholic communications.”

You can read the whole interview here.

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