Editor’s Note on Day One of ‘crux 2.0’
By John L. Allen
April 1, 2016
Today marks the first day of Crux’s new partnership with the Knights of Columbus, after 18 months as a site sponsored by The Boston Globe. Internally, we’ve been referring tongue-in-cheek to our new incarnation as “Crux 2.0”, and above all else I want to thank our readers for sticking with us during this transition.
If we did this right, most of you won’t have noticed any dramatic changes today.
We’re still breaking news, such as our exclusive first interview with the Vatican’s new anti-sex abuse expert, Teresa Kettelkamp, a former Illinois police colonel and then head of the U.S. bishops’ child protection office. I’ve also got an analysis unpacking why it’s a welcome bit of good news for Pope Francis on the sex abuse front.
We’re still featuring exclusive pieces by some of the most influential voices in the Catholic conversation, such as today’s contributions by Archbishop Mark Coleridge of Brisbane, Australia; Carolyn Woo, president of Catholic Relief Services; and Tom Williams, a Rome-based theologian and commentator on religion and Catholic affairs (not to mention one of the city’s finest mixologists, but that’s for another time).
We’re also still providing a selection of the best coverage from other news agencies, such as the Associated Press, Catholic News Service, Catholic News Agency, and Religion News Service, and we’re still hosting advertising about a wide variety of events, products, and services.
Over the next few days, we have more in the pipeline: Terrific pieces from two names already familiar to Crux readers, Fr. Dwight Longenecker and Austen Ivereigh; a newsmaker interview with Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York; fresh examples of the routinely spectacular Vatican reporting by our own Ines San Martin; my analysis of Catholic goings-on, and more.
From the beginning, Crux was designed to be a “one-stop shopping” destination for Catholic news, analysis, and commentary, and that’s as true today as it has been for the past 18 months.
As we go forward, you’ll find some new elements designed to make Crux stronger and better.
We’ll blend in many of the great writers who were already in the stable of the Catholic Pulse, a news site operated by the Knights, such as Kathryn Jean Lopez. We also intend to launch a collaboration with Catholic Voices, in my judgment the most effective program for Church communications in the world, to bring readers some of the best thinking about how to discuss sensitive Catholic issues. That arrangement will also tap Catholic Voices’ global network, in order to provide on-the-ground perspectives you won’t find anywhere else.
Beyond that, Crux 2.0 remains a work in progress.
A couple of features temporarily will be suspended, such as the “comments” section after articles and our e-mail newsletters, but they’ll be back soon. We’ve had only three weeks to work out the kinks, and much of that time has been consumed by technical and legal details – all complicated by the fact that we’re journalists, not entrepreneurs, and we’re figuring things out on the fly.
One fixed point, however, will never change: Crux’s commitment to delivering smart, timely, and balanced journalism. That’s the business we’re in, it’s the enterprise the Knights of Columbus want to support, and we intend to stay in it for the long haul.
Finally, a few thank-yous.
First, thanks to The Boston Globe for being so gracious about how they’ve handled this separation, first of all by giving us ownership of the Crux site, and also by allowing us to manage the site from their servers as we work out the big picture. In particular I want to thank the Globe’s editor, Brian McGrory, who has been incredibly helpful.
Second, thanks to the Knights of Columbus for stepping up to make Crux even better, and for being mind-blowingly supportive in working out the details. As someone who’s covered the Church for 20 years, I was well aware of the Knights’ reputation for both generosity and effectiveness, but now I have a whole new appreciation for why that reputation is so well-earned.
Third, thank you to the Diocese of Brooklyn and Monsignor Kieran Harrington, chairman of its DeSales Media Group, for helping us with the technical dimension of our transition and for being open to future possibilities for collaboration. They’re among the savviest people in the Catholic media world, and knowing they perceive value in Crux is beyond consoling.
Fourth, thanks to all those who have written or called to wish us well – some of you are colleagues in the media business, some members of the hierarchy or Church leaders, some Catholic thinkers and activists of various stripes, and many simply readers who value what Crux does. No matter who you are, you’re now officially friends of Crux for life!
Fifth, thank you to the former members of the Crux team who aren’t making this jump with us, but who have been remarkably encouraging, including Teresa Hanafin, our former editor; Michael O’Loughlin, our former national correspondent; Margery Egan, our former spirituality columnist; Steven Greydanus, who wrote the home video column; Lisa Miller, our former ethics columnist; regular contributors Kathleen Hirsch, Mathew Schmalz, and many more. You’re all good friends and colleagues, and we wish you the very best.
Sixth, thanks to Mark Morrow, the Globe’s senior deputy managing editor, for his 18 months of handling my “All Things Catholic” column, our anti-Christian persecution series, and much else.
Finally, we’re grateful to two other members of the Crux team, advertising coordinator Terri Lynn and technical consultant Christina Reinwald, who have agreed to come along for the ride while they also continue to apply their remarkable talents elsewhere.
So, folks, welcome to Crux 2.0 … buckle up, because we’re only getting started!