‘The Dialog’ to stay in business

There’s really good news coming out of Wilmington.

The Dialog, the award-winning diocesan newspaper that had been slated for closure this year, will continue publishing as a bi-weekly newspaper. The news outlet also plans to expand its presence in the electronic media – regularly posting online stories and video reports.

Joseph Kirk Ryan, former managing editor of The Catholic Review and an assistant editor at The Dialog since 2006, was named editor/manager.  Daniel Medinger, former associate publisher/editor of The Catholic Review and current president of Advertising Media Plus, will serve as a consultant.

The Dialog’s near demise was another consequence of the sex abuse crisis. It faced elimination as a way to help pay for a $77.4 million settlement to survivors of abuse by priests.

Wilmington Bishop W. Francis Malooly,  former auxiliary bishop of Baltimore, announced that the newspaper’s budget for the first year will be funded in part by a $150,000 donation by an anonymous benefactor. Funds set aside by the diocese for a new communications plan will also be used, he said, and advertising revenues will continue to be sought.

I worked closely with Joe Ryan and Dan Medinger in Baltimore.  They are both top-notch journalists who know the Catholic Church well. The Dialog is in good hands.

Here’s more from The Dialog:

The bishop’s Aug. 8 decision to keep The Dialog in business follows the recommendation of a special committee  formed last spring to suggest a diocesan communications plan after the paper was closed. That committee urged the diocese to improve its use of electronic media and to produce a printed publication as well, noting The Dialog was a “very active, solid” means of informing and evangelizing every Catholic household, according to Msgr. J. Thomas Cini, vicar general.

The committee’s report emphasized the need for a paper and enhanced communication in the diocese to counter misinformation and rumors during a critical time for the church in the wake of bankruptcy, the sex abuse scandal and recent closings of schools.

Starting in October, The Dialog’s new print edition will be delivered bi-weekly to parishes for distribution in churches. Circulation by mail will end. The paper will start a new website for Dialog stories and publish more information than can be included in its print editions. The Dialog will also develop an e-community in the diocese through reader emails gathered with the help of parishes, so parishioners can receive breaking news by text, photo and video.

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About George P. Matysek Jr.

George P. Matysek Jr. is the assistant managing editor of The Catholic Review in Baltimore. View all posts by George P. Matysek Jr.

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