National Catholic Reporter
The Independent Newsweekly
Inside NCR
Issue Date:  January 30, 2004

From the Editor's Desk

Tell us what you think

One of the surprises that greeted me when I started working at NCR 10 years ago was the depth of passion and commitment people feel for this paper. At times, especially at the beginning, the connection people had to NCR was almost frightening to me. “You kept me in the church this week,” more than one caller has said.

“You are my lifeline,” people write and say on the phone. “You are our only hope.” From abuse victims to people in a parish that’s being steamrolled by a new pastor, to the parents of gay children to the exhausted priest who gets a notice from the chancery suggesting that the most important thing on the bishop’s mind that week is that priests begin wearing clericals at all times -- one finds out quickly that a lot of people count on NCR to keep them connected, included in a conversation they can’t find elsewhere.

It’s not just the beleaguered. Those deeply involved in the causes of peacemaking and issues of justice here and abroad also count on NCR for delivery of news and perspectives reported and understood through the long lens of Christian humanism and the church’s rich social justice traditions.

And sometimes, it’s the ads. NCR has a wonderfully diverse group of advertisers for which we are grateful. They allow us in a very significant way to keep doing our work. Several weeks ago at a Christmas party I met someone who had recently become a subscriber. She had compliments for stories and commentaries, but she reserved her highest praise for our classifieds, which she consults each issue. That habit led her to notice a spirituality and equestrian program offered in South Dakota last year. She drove north, attended a workshop, and still raves about it.

~ ~ ~

In short, over the span of 10 years one gets a certain feel for the “community” that gathers around this little project. And yet I am forever surprised by the breadth of interests, and challenged by the new questions and even disagreements that arise in the course of conversation. There is always lots to learn.

So, in the spirit of helping us know even more about the community that continues to gather around our words each week, I make a special plea that you take the time to fill out the survey included in this week’s issue.

It will help us in a number of ways. One way certainly is that it will enable us to more finely profile our readership for advertisers, which will allow us to broaden the type and number of advertisers, which, in turn, will make it easier to keep the old boat afloat.

More important to us in the editorial department will be your answers to other questions of content, about what you find interesting in your own lives, how you spend your time and what you think about some of the burning contemporary issues.

~ ~ ~

When I first arrived here, Tom Fox, then editor and now publisher, told me that NCR in some ways had a life of its own, that it had a more distinctive character than any other publication I might have written for in the past, and that it was always changing and gathering in new interests and new people. That around the core passions of the paper, listed above, the community was always renewing itself, discovering new issues, new concerns, new joys and new things to celebrate. Help us to understand better what it is today that amazes you, that gives you hope, that concerns or worries you. Help us to know how we can better be of service.

-- Tom Roberts

National Catholic Reporter, January 30, 2004

This Week's Stories | Home Page | Top of Page
Copyright  © The National Catholic Reporter Publishing  Company, 115 E. Armour Blvd., Kansas City, MO   64111
All rights reserved.
TEL:  816-531-0538     FAX:  1-816-968-2280   Send comments about this Web site to: