As many of you know, we live in a time of change. For us at the National Catholic Reporter, we are both witnesses to changes inside the church — and part of the changes that continue to ripple throughout the journalism world.
More and more, a news organization relies on outstanding reporting in order to rise above the clutter of so many voices in print, online and in social media. Delivering great journalism is the best way to survive and thrive in the current atmosphere.
That’s why I am pleased to let you know about an important shift here. Our executive editor, Heidi Schlumpf, has moved into a new position as NCR Senior Correspondent. It’s a role that will center her focus on in-depth writing and investigative reporting about the Catholic Church — the kind of journalism that has long allowed NCR to stand out from the crowd.
Heidi’s new position comes after an accomplished three-and-a-half year term as our top editor. During that time, Schlumpf helped reshape and enhance NCR’s editing and reporting teams. The quality of their work has been recognized frequently by professional organizations, including 29 awards this year from the Catholic Media Association. Her own work as a columnist and author of NCR editorials has received coverage in mainstream news outlets like the Washington Post, NPR and CNN.
Before becoming executive editor, Heidi served as NCR’s national correspondent. Many of you most likely remember her work. It made a real impact. Her reporting featured in-depth coverage of the influence of money in the church, politics, women’s issues and racism. She conducted investigations into Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN) and Fellowship of Catholic University Students (FOCUS).
« I’m grateful for all the support I’ve received in my three and half years as editor, » Heidi told me about the transition. « I look forward to working with all the staff in my new role. »
Having Heidi again in a reporting role will only strengthen NCR and elevate our mission — especially as we move into a particularly critical moment for the church. In October, a synod of bishops will convene in Rome to discuss many important issues — such as the role of women in Catholic ministry and how the church cares for LGBTQ persons — that may chart a new course. We will have several reporters working out of Rome, building a more complete picture of the synod than many other publications.
I will take over some of Heidi’s editing duties for a while. We plan to begin the search for a new editor by the end of year, once the synod has finished.
Many thanks to all of you for reading NCR, and for caring enough about the church to stay informed and engaged. That’s been our mission for nearly 60 years. And despite all the shifting sands around us, that will never change.
All the best,