Register for digital age

By 
  • February 27, 2013

The Catholic Register turns 120 this year. For 12 decades it has been a national Catholic voice delivered weekly to the homes and churches of Canada.

There are no plans to change an award-winning formula, but that doesn’t mean things are staying the same. Like all print media, The Register has been wrestling the bear of technology and seeking ways to better serve its readers and advertisers while also attracting new audiences in a turbulent digital world.

Pope Benedict has stated that change is not optional for the Church. “The increased availability of the new technologies demands greater responsibility on the part of those called to proclaim the Word, but it also requires them to become more focused, efficient and compelling in their efforts,” he said. That clear directive was not aimed specifically at Catholic media yet it’s one The Register takes seriously.

In 2010, we ventured into the worlds of Facebook and Twitter to complement the web site we’ve nurtured for many years. Last fall we added an e-mail-based newsletter. Now the techno-circle has been rounded by the launch of a fully digital edition of The Catholic Register.

Unlike our web site, which doesn’t include every story and photo run in the newspaper, the digital edition completely replicates the print paper. It has the same stories, features, columns and photographs, but can also include additional articles, colour photo galleries, audio recordings and video clips, plus links to related content on the Internet. Soon, our digital library will include an archive of past issues, starting with papers from the past 10 years and eventually including every issue since 1893, making it an invaluable historical resource.

The digital edition resembles its newsprint cousin in that, after a free trial period, it will be a paid subscriber product that can be read by flipping pages in sequence. Particularly appealing is that the digital edition is simple to use. We say it’s like reading a newspaper without newsprint. It does not require a special app, is compatible with most devices (desktop computer, laptop, tablet and smartphone) and can be read anywhere a reader can connect to the Internet. See for yourself at our web site — www.catholicregister.org/digitaledition.

Not that long ago media hype centred on how the distribution and consumption of news and information was profoundly changing. Now we use the past tense — it has profoundly changed. The transformation took less than a generation.

Benedict has called this energetic digital world a new agora, a virtual public square that offers exciting opportunities to profess faith and share information. We couldn’t agree more. But what hasn’t changed is The Register’s commitment to producing compelling faith-based content to inform the mind and nourish the soul — no matter how it’s delivered.

 

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