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By Phil Lawler, Catholic Culture, July 28, 2021

Phil Lawler has been a Catholic journalist for more than 30 years. He has edited several Catholic magazines and written eight books. Founder of Catholic World News, he is the news director and lead analyst at


Journalistic ethics: That’s not a topic often discussed by Catholic media outlets, and for two good reasons.

First, most Catholic media outlets are heavily subsidized, and therefore reliant on the goodwill of their sponsors. A diocesan newspaper, for instance, is reporting on the institution that pays its bills. There’s a conflict of interest there—albeit one so obvious that it doesn’t really require disclosure.

Second—and related—most Catholic media outlets steer well clear of controversy. When the editors limit themselves to “safe” stories, they are rarely tempted to violate journalistic standards….

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