The National Catholic Reporter says the US bishops are more media savvy now than before the Scandal, but the story itself reflects a mixed bag. Some bishops are more media savvy, but others aren’t. And what does it mean to be media savvy? It looks the operating definition is having the bishop personally available to the media, but that’s not necessarily right in all cases.
On the other hand, I’ve long been a proponent that the Church become more proactive in dealing with the media with regard to difficult stories, and stop reacting and being defensive. Barry McLaughlin is a consultant with the USCCB(ureaucracy) who does media training for the bishops and says that merely putting a happy face on bad news isn’t the solution.
“The message I’m giving them is, I expect the bishop and the church to do the right thing in response to the wrong thing being done.” And the right thing, in McLoughlin’s view, is to be open in messages through the media.
It’s a sad day when we need a media consultant to tell bishops that they should do the right thing and tell the truth.
What too many bishops forget is that their primary means of communication with the Catholics of their dioceses is not the diocesan newspaper, parish bulletins, or Sunday homilies, but the mass media. They need to see it as a tool they can use to get the message out and what is the Church about if not spreading a Message?
Not as savvy as they think
bk_keywords:crisis management, media relations.