CathNews celebrates fifth birthday
Today marks the fifth anniversary of this news service, which was established by Fr Michael Kelly SJ, CEO of Catholic Telecommunications, now known as Church Resources.
The main role of Church Resources is to optimise the Church's purchasing power to enable it to save money in buying essentials such as telephone services, stationery and cars. But Fr Kelly believed that producing a basic electronic news service would be an effective way for his organisation to make daily contact with the church bodies that it seeks to serve.
"I knew we had to be connecting with people regularly, preferably daily, if what we were selling was going to be recognised and bought," he said yesterday. "Moreover I believed that if we were to be of enduring value to the Church we had to be seen to be adding value to its mission. CathNews is the very gratifying result."
More than 10,000 subscribers receive CathNews each day by email, and there are about 8500 visits to the website each day. Cathnews.com is the most popular Catholic website in Australia, according to figures from the Hitwise ratings agency.
CathNews now has a fledgeling sister publication - the weekly Christian News Online, which is designed to appeal to Church Resources customers from non-Catholic Christian churches. On Monday, the prayer section of the CathNews website was expanded and relaunched with its own identity, at pray.com.au.
CathNews does not set out to produce original news articles. Rather it collects stories from many electronic sources and seeks to present them in an accessible and timely manner.
The first story on 26 March 1999 reported on the scheduling on mainstream TV of a Holy Land Easter Pilgrimage documentary that was produced by the Catholic Albert Street Productions and narrated by actor Bud Tingwell. The complete archive is still available on the CathNews website.
CathNews Archive - March/April 1999
Christian News Onlne
Daily Prayer Online
Ratings reveal CathNews is Australia's most popular religious website (CathNews 18/10/02)
26 Mar 2004