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Welcome to the future!

08 December 2017

Appears in: Archdiocesan News

Welcome to the future of telling the Catholic story!

Many of you have been wondering what we’ve been working on. Well, this is it. We hope you like it.

Grandin Media is an ambitious online news portal. It reflects the beauty of our faith across schools, workplaces and society as a whole, highlighting how we’re living our Catholic faith journey.

Our goal is inform, to inspire, to evangelize and to fill a gaping and persistent hole on the Canadian news media scene – the Catholic angle and the portrayal of our faith as we know it. Instead of having the secular media define what it means to be a Catholic and to live out our faith, we’re doing it ourselves.

We’re providing news where the faith hasn’t been edited out. It’s in fact at the forefront.

We hope to engage everyone online and build relationships by telling great stories – through well-written and researched stories and beautiful videos – that you don’t see in secular media. We’ll also be there when controversies arise as the voice of the Catholic community in Alberta.

Faith is not only at the forefront, it’s in our name: Grandin Media honours our roots, and acts as a locator. Bishop Vital Grandin was the first Bishop in Alberta, long before our Archdiocese was founded. His name graces neighbourhoods, schools, apartments, a popular restaurant, and even a transit station.

This site started with the vision of Archbishop Richard Smith, who wanted to build an online Catholic news source following the closure of the Western Catholic Reporter newspaper. Today, most of us get our news and information on our “phone” or computer. We share the good news of our faith in the digital public square, including social media like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Vimeo.

Now a word about Digital Trauma: I can’t take credit for the name. As the editor, I can tell you that this column is to keep you informed about Grandin Media, what to look forward to, and the direction we’re heading … to build a relationship with you, the reader.

Share your thoughts! We’re hoping that you’ll read our stories, watch our videos, post comments and interact with us.

Tell us your story! As Catholics, you may have seen our communications team at your local parish or event. We hope that you talk to us, and we can get to know you.

With an estimated 390,000 Catholics in the Edmonton Archdiocese, there are at least that many stories out there, from an event at your local parish, to individuals who are living their faith in creative ways.

We’re starting something new with Grandin Media. It has been fun and exhilarating to get to this point.

Under the leadership of Lorraine Turchansky, chief communications officer for the Archdiocese, we have assembled a skilled and passionate team, and developed and launched Grandin Media in under a year.

Alan Schietzsch is our webmaster. Our social media specialist is Lincoln Ho. Matthew Bodnarek is our videographer. You may also remember graphic artist Chris Jugo and reporter Thandiwe Konguavi, who bring continuity from the Western Catholic Reporter.

As news editor, I can assure you that Grandin Media will as dogged in its journalistic excellence as it is committed to our faith. We’ll also go further to cover stories beyond the traditional Catholic media.

Here are few that we covered in the last six months:

We reported on the national Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women Inquiry, Archbishop Smith’s first visit to a mosque, as well as the Islamophobia facing local Muslims. We told the story of the compassion of Catholic palliative care through two sisters from Castor as they journeyed with their dying mother.

We profiled Chris Zyp, a paraplegic teacher at Holy Trinity High School in Edmonton, who credits his faith and prayer for his recovery. This summer, we went to Fort Simpson, N.W.T., for the opening of a new parish building and a look at the future of our faith among the Dene people.

We won’t shy away from controversy. Grandin Media provided the Alberta bishops’ response to proposed changes to the sex-education curriculum in Catholic schools and we took on the issues of gender identity and gay-straight alliances from the Catholic perspective.

OK it’s your turn. What you think our new Grandin Media website? What works and doesn’t? Let me know. Your thoughts, suggestions and story ideas are important, because they help us make Grandin Media better. As a journalist, I’m accustomed to feedback of all kinds. Don’t hold back. I can take it!

Building that relationship with you, the reader, is what will make this website a success. We are Grandin Media. But so are all of us within the Catholic community. Your team at Grandin Media looks forward to a great and long-lasting relationship.