Leading journalist to edit Online Catholics

Chris McGillion, one of Australia's leading religious journalists, has been appointed to edit the independent Catholic electronic journal Online Catholics.

A statement from the Board of the publication said that Mr McGillion's appointment is an interim one until the end of the year. He replaces founding editor Kate Mannix, whom Board Chairman Garry Eastman said had "built [the publication's] reputation as an independent and influential voice within the Australian Catholic community".

Chris McGillion, who is senior lecturer in print journalism and Co-ordinator of the journalism undergraduate course at Charles Sturt University, Bathurst Campus, is best known for his religious commentary over more than a decade in the Sydney Morning Herald. He was also the paper's opinion page editor, and previously editorial writer. He has been Australian correspondent for The Tablet, and written for the National Catholic Reporter. His books include A Long Way From Rome: Why the Australian Catholic Church is in crisis (2003), and a study of Sydney Anglicans published this year.

Mr Eastman also announced the election of two new directors. They are Geraldine Hawkes, Co-ordinator of St Paul's City Ministry, Adelaide and Chair of the Commission for Australian Catholic Women, and Mark Vassarotti, an economist with PriceWaterhouseCoopers, Melbourne. Other members of the Board include Peter Bearsley, Robert Fitzgerald AO, John Menadue AO, and Fiona O'Loughlin.

The Board has raised $90,000 towards the start-up and on-going costs of the journal. Mr Eastman said the Board is very grateful to all donors, both private and institutional. In particular, he thanked those religious orders who supported the journal financially. He added that the Board is seeking to raise a further $20,000 this financial year.

He pointed out that Online Catholics is running according to budget, with current subscriptions at just over 2000. The website is receiving over 9000 visits per month.

Changes at Online Catholics (Online Catholics Board 16/8/05)

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17 Aug 2005