Sunday, May 17, 2009

21st Anniversary Catholic Peace Newspaper

It has been a mystery to me over the years to see the number of newspapers in Seoul-they seem to have a large readership and no talk of bankruptcy and problems with income. This could be my simple lack of information on the subject.

The president of the Peace Catholic Newspaper and Peace Broadcasting System in the“editorial” for the 21st anniversary of the Peace Newspaper had a rather gloomy assessment of the situation. In my own way below is a brief summary of what was said.

Because we have those that want to buy does not mean that we have to sell; nor need we sell because we have people who want to buy.

The media is a means and not an end. No matter what means are selected the end is the same, to live like human beings. How to live like a human being is different for all of us but there is a general consensus on what is meant to live a human life. Each one in his or her own way has to determine the general values of living a full human life. In a contest if there is no points given then you have no losers.

He listed what Gandhi said about the destruction of Nations:

1) politics without principles
2) business without morality
3) wealth without work
4) knowledge without character
5) science without humanity
6) pleasure without conscience
7) worship without sacrifice.

The president left us with the impression that no matter how hard the financial situation becomes he will not resort to anything that does not help us live a more fully human life.

This is an issue that certainly has many different responses. To give the readers what they want is a good way to keep the readership. It is good business policy and many would say common sense. However, success in one field many be a failure in another. I sympathize very much with what the president had to say however, there may me a middle course in how to handle the Catholic news. I do not believe a Catholic Paper should go in the direction of the National Catholic Reporter nor be like the old L'Osservatore Romano. Sandro Magister who knows the situation well said that L'Osservatore has been remodeled: "More interviews. More space given to women. Non-Catholic contributors. International news, and about the Churches and the religions. Major cultural topics. To prompt thought and discussion even outside of Catholic boundaries."

There has to be honesty in the media but not everything has to be said because it is out there being talked about. The change in the L'Osservatore Romano would be a good example for many of our Catholic papers. The editorial ended with a quote from Isaiah:

Lo, I am about to create new heavens and a new earth;
The things of the past shall not be remembered or come to mind.
Instead, there shall always be rejoicing and happiness in what
I create. Isaiah: 65:17-18

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