Boston archdiocese’s newspaper’s new web site

Boston archdiocese’s newspaper’s new web site

The Archdiocese of Boston continues its move into the 21st century. First, it had the blogging cardinal. Now, it has a fully functional diocesan newspaper web site at TheBostonPilot.com.

It’s not a bad web site, perhaps a little busy, but it’s colorful, easy to navigate, and has nearly all the features of the print edition available online. This is good. The Pilot is one of, if not “the”, oldest Catholic newspapers in the country, but in recent years it’s luster has been fading. Circulation has plummeted over the past couple of decades as its readership aged quickly. Old subscribers hung on, but new subscribers weren’t showing up. To give you an idea, about 300,000 Catholics attend Mass on a weekly basis in the archdiocese. Those are the faithful regulars. Only 30,000—about 10 percent—read The Pilot. Thus most Boston Catholics have been getting their news about the Church filtered through the mainstream media, which have shown themselves often to either put a spin on it or just not understand it. (Of course, a discerning few of you read Catholic blogs, subscribe to Catholic news services, and buy Catholic periodicals, but too few.)

That’s why Cardinal O’Malley’s blog and this new web site are so valuable. They are an end-run around the media gatekeepers and simultaneously reach out to a younger generation of people who get their news from the web. This is very good news.

Now they just need to add an RSS feed. I think I’ll email that suggestion.

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Domenico Bettinelli
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