More for You Dear Readers
By Penny Wiegert
In the June 17 and 24 issues of The Observer I wrote to you about the decision by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops to shutter their century-old news service. I attempted to outline the impact that unfortunate decision would have on our diocesan publications and ultimately on you, our valued readers.
On July 4, I traveled to the Catholic Media Conference not only for our annual week of professional development through master-camps, workshops, awards and networking opportunities but also this year with the express intent of meeting with colleagues from the United States and Canada to discuss next steps for life after Catholic News Service in December.
And then while all of us Catholic press people waited for lunch and keynote speaker on July 6 … this happened:
Scott Richert, publisher of Our Sunday Visitor, announced the Indiana-based Catholic publishing company would fill the void left behind by the closure of the domestic operations of Catholic News Service in January 2023 with OSV News.
Richert described the new venture as a new Catholic news service.
“The best is yet to come,” he told our gathering of Catholic journalists and communication leaders. He said that after the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops announced the CNS closure May 4, effective at the end of the year, he and his colleagues have been asking “not should OSV do something, but what should OSV do.” 
An OSV news release about its new venture said the company began talks with the USCCB after the announcement of CNS’s closure and “reached an agreement to acquire rights to the platform that CNS uses to produce and distribute its content,” which will be on the same domain:
“OSV News is the answer,” he said, adding that it would be a “new renaissance” in Catholic media. Richert told our group which included many, many Catholic News Service clients both national and diocesan that if clients sign up for OSV News before the end of the year they will have a “seamless experience” since it will launch the day after CNS closes.
He also announced that OSV will be acquiring all of the digital archives owned by CNS, along with rights to existing and future content from CNS Rome, which will remain open and will operate independently from OSV. The Rome bureau of CNS will provide content at no charge starting next year, the USCCB announced in May.
“The digital archives of CNS are of great importance, both historically and as background for Catholic journalists working today,” Richert said. 
And he is spot on about this. The digital archives and access to the news legacy of the Catholic Church both in the U.S. and around the world had been of huge concern to us editors especially in regard to our contribution to CNS over these many decades.
Richert explained that the new service will provide national and international news, analysis, editorials, commentary and features and also would partner with the Vatican’s Dicastery for Communication and with Aleteia, a Catholic website. And, without giving details, the release said it would “collaborate closely with an extensive network of Catholic diocesan publications to syndicate their content through OSV News.” However the cost will not be known until September. 
So as a reader you might ask: Is this good news or what?
At first glance, this is good news because we will have a news service transition taking place on the same platform we have been using. But that is kind of an “inside baseball” answer. It certainly gives us more options. But the verdict will be in the details about content which is still to be determined. And as to whether or not this is truly a “new renaissance” in news is also up for debate and determination in my opinion.
However, there is reason for optimism. OSV is definitely a familiar and trusted partner in Catholic news, information and evangelization. Other considerations on the plus side include:
1. Our Sunday Visitor, founded in 1912 in Huntington, Ind., produces a weekly print newspaper, periodicals, books, parish resources and church envelopes for parishioners’ church contributions. The newspaper and its online site frequently publish CNS content as a client of the news service. Many of the services and publications from Our Sunday Visitor are used today and are very familiar tools used in parishes of the Rockford Diocese.
2. We have legacy with OSV. The Observer began as a supplement and partner of Our Sunday Visitor once sent to every Catholic home.
3. Scott Richert, OSV publisher, is a knowledgeable, engaged and well-educated Catholic author and publisher having spent more than 23 at the Rockford Institute publishing the Chronicles publication and served on the board of directors for the Crisis Pregnancy Center here.
Right now, as the editor of diocesan publications I am breathing a little easier than I was immediately after the announcement regarding the end of Catholic News Service. But complete relief cannot be expressed until other important questions are answered in this new venture by OSV. Please continue your prayers and stay tuned.