Shaping the Future of Catholic Journalism

Posted By: Rob DeFrancesco Catholic Media Blog,

In a world that sometimes rushes past the depth of stories in pursuit of the next headline, we, as Catholic journalists and media professionals, are called to a different standard. It is with great excitement that I share with you the latest developments that both honor our commitment to excellence and foster our growth as a community.

A Celebration of Excellence

First and foremost, it’s time to shine a light on those among us who have exemplified outstanding achievements in Catholic journalism. The St. Francis de Sales Award, our highest honor, has three remarkable finalists this year:

  • Tom Dermody (The Catholic Post);
  • Ana Rodriguez-Soto (Florida Catholic); and
  • Joseph Sinasac (The Catholic Register, Canadian Catholic News, Novalis).

These individuals have not only demonstrated excellence in their work but have also been instrumental in forwarding the mission of Catholic media across North America and beyond.

We received eight outstanding nominations this year. As tradition, once all nominations have been received, the previous five winners of the St. Francis de Sales Award voted for up to five nominees for the award. Each member of the committee ranked candidates from first to last choice. The scores were weighted and tallied, with the three highest point rankings then brought forward to CMA Membership for a vote. Next, members choose their first place and second place candidates. These scores are unweighted. The candidate with the most first place votes is the winner. In the event of a tie, second place votes are used to determine the winner.

Voting is now open through April 10, with the winner to be announced on June 21 at the Catholic Media Conference in Atlanta. This is an exciting moment for members to participate actively and celebrate the achievements within our community.

Empowering Our Voices at the Catholic Media Conference

Speaking of the Catholic Media Conference, I cannot stress enough the importance of registering for this transformative event. This year's conference is packed with opportunities for professional development, networking, and deepening our understanding of the Catholic faith and its expression through media. Highlights include a Hispanic Panel that promises insightful discussions on engaging the Hispanic community through media, roundtable sessions designed for in-depth conversations on pressing industry topics, and a diverse schedule that caters to a wide range of interests and specialties.

I personally invite you to join us June 18-21 in Atlanta. Take advantage of Early Bird Registration and save $50 off the cost of regular registration (CMA Freelance and Individual Members, and students, can take advantage of special rates!).

Hotel rooms are going fast, so I encourage you to book your reservation soon.

Join us Tuesday evening for the annual CMC welcome event, taking place this year at the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historical Park Visitor Center, followed by Mass with the Most Reverend Gregory John Hartmayer, OFM Conv., Archbishop of Atlanta, and dinner at a nearby parish. Tickets are $40 and includes transportation and dinner. Limited availability, so make your reservations soon!

Welcoming a New Chapter

In an exciting move toward recognizing our diverse membership, the Board of Directors has authorized the creation of a new geographic region for Canada. This decision acknowledges the unique needs and contributions of our Canadian members, providing them with dedicated representation and opportunities for engagement within the CMA structure.

The initiative for a Canadian region stems from a desire to recognize the distinct culture of Canada, differentiating it from other geographic regions (Western, Midwestern, Southern and Eastern). This April, we’ll hold a special election for the new board of directors' position for the Canadian Regional Representative. The elected representative will begin their three-year term in June, at the Catholic Media Conference in Atlanta, marking a significant step in our journey toward greater representation.

In Closing

As we navigate these exciting developments, let us remember the core of our mission: to share the Good News through Catholic media, to tell stories that matter, and to connect our community in faith and purpose. Together, we are not just shaping the narrative of Catholic media; we are defining the essence of our collective mission in the world today.

Praying that your Easter Season is filled with love and light in the Risen Jesus Christ.

Rob DeFrancesco is executive director of the Catholic Media Association. Reach him at and ‭(312) 380-6789‬.