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EDITOR’S NOTE: Thomas A. Szyszkiewicz has worked in and around the Catholic press for nearly 40 years. He is currently senior producer for The Drew Mariani Show on Relevant Radio.

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Twenty years is a good run.

Unfortunately, GetReligion should run for at least another 20 more years because the need is still there, and under the circumstances that Terry Mattingly has described of the current state of journalism, one could easily argue that the need is even greater now than it was when this weblog was born.

But alas and alack, it seems that those with the charge of doing actual journalism have not been listening to the wisdom emanating from the authors on this brave site.

Instead of a revival of the classic American style of objective reporting, the owners of the Fourth Estate have denominated themselves into camps according to their respective narratives. That leaves them completely closed to the possibility of learning something new, including how to cover the religion beat.

As a Catholic media pro, this has been especially hard to watch because it makes me believe that there’s an agenda here, whether journalism executives want to admit it or not. When USA Today sends out a breaking news alert that links to a story reporting what is old news on the clergy sex-abuse crisis, that makes a reader wonder why they are so uninformed about basic facts.

Clemente Lisi’s latest of many GetReligion posts about attacks on Catholic churches shows that it’s not getting any better.

We are talking about basic information, here. When Pope Francis gave priests the faculty to not only forgive the sin of abortion but also to lift the penalty of excommunication, it would have been nice if the reporters had talked to canon lawyers to find out exactly what that meant.

Being a voice crying in the wilderness was what God called John the Baptist to do, and people responded in droves because they lived in a culture that cared about God.

Our culture, on the other hand, couldn’t care less about Him or anything related to Him and, at a certain point, crying in the wilderness, as GetReligion has been doing, becomes a monotonous exercise that ends in frustration.

How many times can you say, “Get the facts,” and be ignored without losing patience? Do “crow’s ear” and “Karma Light” nuns ring a bell?

Thank you, tmatt and Doug LeBlanc, for starting this website and to all those who contributed so well. I only wish the journalism world would have heard you better.

FIRST IMAGE: Graphic for the ICatholicRadio ap.

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