Dear friends and readers of America,
Today I am writing to invite you to join our Associates Program. Without the generous support of our Associates our media ministry would not be possible.
America has never been content to be the aloof interpreter of events. We aspire to something more: to be contemplatives in action at the intersection of the church and the world. That’s why America is not just a magazine, though we publish one; nor is America a website, though we have one of those as well.
America is a Catholic ministry, and both of those words— Catholic and ministry—are carefully chosen. Our Jesuit charism guides all of our work. Each time you read America–whether in print or online–you engage with a smart Catholic take on faith and culture, a unique forum for thinking Catholics and those who need to know what Catholics are thinking.
Our interview with Pope Francis, for example, was seen the world over, capturing headlines in every U.S. newspaper and national news cast. A writer in The Washington Post called the interview “a journalistic gold mine. It may stand as America magazine’s greatest moment in its 104 years of publishing.” We were deeply honored to share the pope’s words with you... and the world.
While America’s mission remains constant, however, the challenges we face are new. It is no secret that the digital revolution has changed publishing forever. Facebook and Twitter are now the primary ways that many people get their news. Newsweek and U.S. News & World Report, once rightly regarded as the Ford and Chrysler of U.S. news magazines, have virtually disappeared.
I am confident that America will not meet a similar fate. For a variety of reasons, we are better positioned than most to meet the challenges of the digital age; we also have a talented staff and the most loyal readers in publishing.
But, we cannot meet the challenge without your help!
With your help, America will continue to lead the conversation about faith and culture in the United States. We will continue our shift to a multi-platform ministry—in print, online, through digital—where you want it, when you want it.
In the months ahead, you will also notice new contributing editors and international correspondents on our masthead—the most dramatic expansion of our news coverage in more than 20 years. Plus, you will continue to read our award-winning reporting on the life of the church, including the amazing journeys of Pope Francis, the reform of the Vatican, and the progress of the Jesuits.
In the next few months, I will also appoint a Community Editor who will moderate our public conversation, ensuring that it stands apart from the cable news din and rises to the standards we set for intelligence, thoughtfulness and charity.
We greatly value the loyalty of our subscribers. But we could not continue to thrive without the America Associates. Beyond simply covering our costs, the Associates help us to fund special new partnerships, initiatives and events that are a vital part of our growing ministry.