Lay Catholic journal to fold

The Online Catholics independent e-journal will cease publication this month after failing to achieve a sustainable subscription level, despite telemarketing in several states.

According to a statement sent to subscribers yesterday, the Board has decided to close down the current weekly e-journal as of 20 December.

"For some time we have been aware that our subscription revenue would not support our business plan, even though our subscriptions levels have remained relatively constant over the past 18 months," Board chair Garry Eastman said in a statement.

"Without donations, we were faced with a considerable deficit each year. In the initial stages this deficit was covered by generous donations from religious orders and individual supporters," he said.

Last year the Board said that it had raised $90,000 towards the start-up and on-going costs of the journal, which is edited by Penny Edman, with subscriptions at just over 2,000 and over 9,000 website visits per month.

However, the Board felt that it "had to come up with a business plan that was not reliant on major donations for viability".

"We also embarked on a major subscription drive that was supported by telemarketing in several states. Unfortunately the results of this campaign did not give us confidence that sufficient revenue, without donations, would be available in the coming year to sustain our current model," Mr Eastman said.

Thanking subscribers and staff, Mr Eastman said that the non-profit company, Online Catholics Limited, would remain.

"Hopefully we can come up with another avenue in the future to promote renewal and free discussion in the Catholic Church. Our commitment to a revitalised church and open dialogue remains undiminished," Mr Eastman concluded.

Online Catholics Journal to cease publication after 20 December 2006 (Letter from Board Chair, Online Catholics, 5/12/06)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Online Catholics

New editor for Online Catholics (CathNews, 23/12/05)
Leading journalist to edit Online Catholics (CathNews, 17/8/05)

6 Dec 2006