Via Media

Via Media

Abuse Tracker Moving

To the National Catholic Reporter website, as of January 1

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Patrick Sweeney

posted December 19, 2003 at 10:54 am

I’ve used the Clergy Abuse Tracker since I started my blog a year ago. It’s important to realize that Kathy Shaw gets a great deal of email which she may not answer on the same day. She’s taken input from me on incidents involving non-Catholic clergy and the reports of retraction of accusations and exonerations of Catholic clergy.
The area of CAT that I have not been able to Kathy to address is the stories which are posted which are not “abuse” but criticism of the Catholic Church unrelated to abuse and even routine stories of the Catholic Church such as the naming of new Cardinals. Those are fitting topics for blogs like “open book” or “extremecatholic” but not the “Clergy Abuse Tracker”
I fear with its move to the National Catholic Reporter even more of its objectivity will be lost.

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Jimmy Mac

posted December 20, 2003 at 12:02 am

Patrick, you seem to forget that the NCR BROKE the clergy abuse story quite a few years ago, long before the secular media had a clue.

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Patrick Sweeney

posted December 22, 2003 at 9:11 pm

Jimmy Mac, you seem to forget I know when, how, and why the clergy abuse story broke. NCR had a role but you’ve missed the point:
Poynter makes an explicit claim of objectivity – they are one of the self-proclaimed watchdogs.
Now they are losing that objectivity by giving CAT to NCR which is suffused with a its particular point of view. That’s my fear: the CAT will no longer have objectivity but have many more of the problems I had, which I mentioned above. There’s nothing wrong with NCR having its own point of view but that wasn’t CAT’s role in Poynter.
But wait — it turns out that the objectivity of CAT was compromised from the very start: The Catholic League reports that a Poynter employee was on the Board of Directors of NCR. This isn’t a crime, but it certainly compromises Poynter’s claim of objectivity in compiling CAT.

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