The Western Catholic Reporter staff at the dissolution of the newspaper (from left): Kleah Zara (advertising), Jay Charland (webmaster), Glen Argan (editor), Ramon Gonzalez (senior reporter), Tina Bounds (circulation, proofreading), Lasha Morningstar (reporter).
EDMONTON — After more than 50 years of publication, Edmonton Archbishop Richard Smith has announced that the Western Catholic Reporter is closing.
“For more than 50 years in the service of the Gospel of our Lord, the Western Catholic Reporter has provided news and commentary to the People of God in this archdiocese and beyond,” Smith wrote in a letter to the archdiocese.
“Thanks to the professionalism and dedication of Glen Argan and his staff, the paper has developed a rich legacy of journalistic excellence, recognized through many industry awards.”
Smith noted that the world of communications has changed dramatically, saying, “It is necessary that we always seek new and ever more effective means to engage our people, wherever they may be on their faith journey and wherever they may look for their news of the day.”
Smith said the church needs to be conversant in evolving technology. “Consequently, I have directed that our current print and digital means of communications transition to a daily online news portal, which will be the hub for quality content shared across several platforms, including websites, social media, the e-newsletter, and print products.”
Smith said the changes form part of an archdiocesan response “to the call Pope Francis has made to the entire church for pastoral conversion.”
He said the archdiocesan communications office would be reorgnized “with a new vision, a new mandate and a new structure” to “effectively narrate the story of how faith in Jesus Christ is proclaimed and lived in the lives of ordinary Catholics and in the ministries of the church.”
Smith expressed gratitude to Argan and the WCR staff as well as to subscribers.
“I want to assure you that your faithful support of the WCR has been deeply appreciated and will not be forgotten. I know that many of our readers do not go to the Internet for their Catholic news and prefer a print product; we will keep you in mind as we consider any new publications.”
The Western Catholic Reporter published its last issue this week.