Local News Archive
Print Issue: January 4, 1963
The Catholic newspaper of northern Georgia has now turned a new calendar leaf. But with this issue Jan. 4. 1963, it has done much more. With a new managing editor and staff, a new name and weekly publication schedule, The Georgia Bulletin enters the new age of Catholic journalism.
In his lead editorial, Mr. Gerard Sherry discusses, the crisp and refreshing concepts, “What We Are About?” It is my intention to write this short companion piece entitled, “The Catholic Newspaper and the Church.”
The church must make its presence felt in every Catholic family in the archdiocese. The weekly appearance of The Georgia Bulletin in each home will assure our people of this presence. We have enjoyed, in this region, an excellent tradition of journalism, both religious and secular. Few Catholic dioceses can proudly point to a newspaper with a record of more than forty years. Among the nation’s great newspapers, the Atlanta dailies enjoy a fine tradition of leadership. The small papers of the state generally have faithfully recorded local news.
The Georgia Bulletin is not in competition with these media. It applauds their excellence, but seeks to give its readers a more complete view of life--the religious focus. It is in competition, in fact, with only two things: religious ignorance and religious prejudice. Our new archdiocesan paper then proudly takes its place in the ranks of southern journalism as well as in the best traditions of the Catholic press.
There is a sense--a restricted one--in which The Georgia Bulletin is an official newspaper of the archdiocese. It will carry all official announcements. And when it is engaged in the task of teaching religion, it will teach as the Church teaches. In its larger framework of reporting, its spirit and its mood will be in keeping with the large pattern of Catholic ideals and Catholic culture.
Beyond these stipulations--to which our subscribers and advertisers are entitle in their use of a “Catholic newspaper”--there is a vast area of free play open to our editors and our readers. The progress of Vatican Council II has already indicated the wide dimensions of this liberty. The Georgia Bulletin’s reporting will be honest and objective. Its handling of news values will be based on the highest canons of journalistic balance. And its interpretative columns will strive for depth and context.
These standards are no more nor less than are expected of any good newspaper of integrity and courage. In a religious paper, however, there is even greater obligation to honor and observe them. The religious journal which is excessively narrow, unfairly slanted, unduly cautious, or indifferent to the human society around it, is badly out of step with both good journalism and the cause of religion.
The religious press is not meant to be a “house organ” or a “trade sheet.” Its whole reason for being is that it might enter the community bearing light and courage--light enough to expose society’s ills as well as its strengths; courage enough to inspire justice and charity in those who might falter along the path.
UPON the staff, especially Mr. Sherry as managing editor, and Father Donald Kiernan as consulting editor, I ask God’s blessing in this new step forward. As Archbishop of Atlanta, I am happy to have a dual part in it. As publisher, there is an area of responsibility that is singularly mine. And as reader, I can assure the new staff that from Milledgeville to Look-out Mountain, there will not be a reader more interested, more eager, than I.
Paul J. Hallinan
Archbishop of Atlanta