Last weekend the 3rd Catholic New Media Celebration was held in Boston Archdiocese Pastoral Center to a sold out audience. I was unable to go this year but was able to watch much of the CNMC live via USTREAM or watch the bits I missed on video afterwards. It has been quite interesting to watch the CNMC grow from its conception to three successful years bringing together Catholics to learn how to use the new media in evangelization and as an opportunity to get together. There were so many people attending that I would love to be able to meet and talk to myself that it was bittersweet watching from afar.
The Archdiocese of St. Louis has a good post up on their site with plenty of links in regards to the CNMC and to other sites containing links. Links to video’s of individual events are also included.
While they had plenty of excellent speakers I would pick out Thomas Peters of American Papist in this regard. I found the content of his speech very good with lots of food for thought even for long term bloggers. [Video] The blogging panel had an representative range of bloggers and I thought it was informative and fun. [Video]
The Keynote speech was by Lino Rulli host of “The Catholic Guy Show” on the The Catholic Channel and he really gave an amazing speech that had lots to say about Catholic Media. Lino is very funny as he described his career in both secular and Catholic media, but while being funny he was also making some very serious points about Catholic Media and the truth that far too often Catholic Media has not been very professional and often just does not compete when it comes to reaching out to an audience. Often Catholic Media is just sub par professionally. G. K. Chesterton’s “if something’s worth doing, it’s worth doing badly.” is often applied incorrectly by Catholics since Chesterton said this in defense of hobbies. I started my blog with this quote, though my blog is a hobby. The reality is that Catholics using media to evangelize must see that excellence is extremely important or else you end up with a ghetto mentality of only reaching out towards those already converted. Look at the state of so much filmmaking by Christians where excellence in filmmaking out seems to fall by the wayside. Filming, writing, talking about the truth should not be undermined by a lack of artistic merit. The best Catholic Media is great because it is professional, not just because it is Catholic media.
Another thing Lino talked about was people’s reactions to him and the number of negative comments he gets from The Catholic Guy show which they consider too irrelevant and not pious enough. I listen to his show via the podcast highlights of his show and I enjoy it very much. Though like with all humor it isn’t for everybody. I have a feeling though Lino gets comments from the same people who complain about the picture of nuns with rifles in my header. Some just think that the intersection of the faith and humor should be an overpass instead where they never meet.
You can watch his Keynote here.
Lino’s right. Many of the shows on EWTN are cringe inducing. Shaky cameras, poor lighting, characters out of proportion to the frame. The camcorder-in-the-back-of-the-room on the CNMC videos are not too far off the mark from what you see on EWTN, with rare exception (Footprints of God, for instance). The Catholic Church used to own the western art scene with Michealangelo, Da Vinci, Caravaggio and now we have Bob and Penny Lord.
I wish there were organizations I could fund to turn that around. I know that Barbara Nicolosi has an organization, but looking at some of the projects their graduates worked on, I’m not sure.
You mean the nuns you used to have in your header. I don’t see them there any more.
“The best Catholic Media is great because it is professional, not just because it is Catholic media.”
Exactly. From what I can see, one of the biggest problems with Catholic productions is money. We are terrible patrons these days. EWTN is getting better, but until they either get some real money in there or some professionals that are willing to work on the cheap, they are stuck in a catch 22.
I am encouraged by the work of Theater of the Word Inc. I find them worth patronizing.
No production can get better without finance and that’s what Catholic media is depriving of.Professionals less competent than other productions come to work at Catholic media because they have no big money to give competent professionals. Also other things are being effected by Finance in any production.