Let’s Talk About Communicating Better!

#WhenHeadlinesHurt – Values to Renew “What’s New”

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See below: Information on my podcast/broadcast activities and my public presentations. (Also see OnWord.net, Twitter)
Buy the book, When Headlines Hurt: Do We Have a Prayer, by Bill Schmitt; Catholic Writers Guild Seal of Approval 2019

There’s a second kind of “climate change”—this one in our culture. It generates heat without light through conflict in civil society and causes personal pain through erosion of dignity and hope. Like the weather, we gripe about it, but we don’t know what to do about it. We can’t agree on solutions to pursue together or even reach clarity on what problems are ripe for real discussion. You might say the mix of challenges constitutes a “perfect storm” summoning us to serve through damage prevention and reconstruction.

This multi-dimensional problem, which creates major hurdles against achieving goals of secular solidarity and missionary discipleship, is a combination of social polarization and eroded conversation. It is building momentum these days, at the intersection where journalism and our changing news environment meet politics and our changing technological environment. It’s arising amid confusion and disagreement about values, approaches and purpose, fed by disenchantment with traditional ideas plus attempts to confront new, complex issues in the modern style of self-centered moralism and relativism.

We need to get back to basics about such values as the common good, the pursuit of peace and other “rules of engagement” among people—such as mercy, justice, patient accompaniment and personal accountability—about which the Catholic Church provides time-tested insights. Pope Francis is one of the few world leaders and opinion-shapers who is seeking to spotlight these resources as relevant, connection-making remedies, not outmoded attacks on personal freedom. He talks about them, in compelling ways, through his messages for World Communications Day. He also addresses the dangers our “digitized” culture poses, especially toward young people and the future of communities, local and global.

Bill Schmitt’s book, When Headlines Hurt: Do We Have a Prayer?, published in 2018, is the groundwork for an effort to help all people of good will address this problem, tapping into Church wisdom and a Franciscan spirit while remaining inclusive and attuned to today’s perspectives. Bill’s endeavors for thought-leadership through blogs, podcasts, public speaking and ecumenical, non-partisan awareness-building seek practical goals with the transformative assistance of faith. Bill would like to explain more about the prospects for renewal he sees in communication and information. He’d like to start discussions—first at the grass-roots level, among people like you. Parishes and church groups will enjoy rediscovering the power of faith and reason, truth and love, not only to evangelize, but to cooperate with the secular world in preserving rights and responsibilities, debate and problem-solving.

That’s the essence of the When Headlines Hurt—Values to Renew ”What’s New” project. Invite Bill to bring his reflections and research, based in the messages of Pope Francis and Saint Francis among others, to a discussion group as contemporary as today’s headlines and newsfeeds.

Podcast/Broadcast Appearances

  • “Living Stones” — weekly syndicated show on numerous Catholic radio stations, featured guest for two-part interview on media, social polarization and young people; hosted by Deacon Harold Burke-Sivers and Ken Hallenius, July 1July 8, 2019
  • “Kyle Heimann Show” — substitute host on daily Redeemer Radio morning show: a live hour of discussion on media and social polarization, interviews with media leaders, June 13, 2019
  • “Son Rise Morning Show” — heard daily on Catholic radio stations nationwide. Interviewed by co-host Matt Swaim about “Digital Media and Youth”, June 12, 2019
  • “Kyle Heimann Show” — heard daily on Redeemer Radio: “Digital Media and Youth”, on April 16, 2019 
  • “Son Rise Morning Show“–heard daily on Catholic radio stations nationwide. Interviewed by co-host Matt Swaim about the book on March  25, 2019. Go to the 6:30 am point in the SoundCloud recording from that day.
  • “Catholic Connections with Teresa Tomeo”–the daily radio show that probes relationships between Catholic values and current news, including social divisions worsened by journalistic/media trends. Hear Feb. 4, 2019 archive: hour 2 at 17:00.
  • “Church Life Today”–-the weekly radio program and podcast produced by the McGrath Institute for Church LIfe at the University of Notre Dame. Hear the Oct. 6, 2018, archive.
  • “Living Stones”–the weekly syndicated radio show with co-hosts Deacon Harold Burke-Sivers and Ken Hallenius. Hear the two-part interview on  Aug. 13 and Aug. 6.
  • “Lisa Hendey and Friends”–the podcast hosted by a nationally respected Catholic blogger, author and commentator. Hear our conversation from July at this site.
  • “Kresta in the Afternoon”–Al Kresta’s national radio show. Go to the archives, then download hour one for June 12; hear me at the 23:00 mark.
  • “Son Rise Morning Show”--a daily program on the EWTN radio network, with co-host Matt Swaim. Go to Soundcloud for the June 15 episode, at the 1:49:00 mark.
  • “The Kyle Heimann Show”--heard every morning on the Redeemer Radio stations in Fort Wayne and South Bend, IN. Hear the June 20 program at the 26:20 mark.

Public Presentations

Oct. 1, 2019, “Theology on Tap” talk/Q&A on media, news, and Christian values.

Sept. 7, 2019: St. Therese Little Flower Parish, South Bend. “How to Renew the News”

Aug. 24, 2019: Talk and Q&A with students, “Saints & Scholars” — Holy Cross College

Aug. 17, 2019: Talk and Q&A with students, “Saints & Scholars” — Holy Cross College

April 8, 2019:  Knights of Columbus Council 553

April 7, 2018: Knights of Columbus, St. Therese Little Flower Council, South Bend