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Covering the USCCB



ops’ Committee on Communications and the chairmen of committees that

have just presented or presided over discussion of action items at the preced-

ing session of the meeting. When the news conference ends, journalists with

additional questions often gather around one or another panelist to press for

further clarifications.

Because a USCCB assembly is a business meeting, during business ses-

sions news writers are restricted to tables assigned to the press gallery, and

the access to the meeting floor for news photographers is limited. Generally

photographers are allowed access for a limited time on the first morning of a

meeting, provided they work from the peripheral areas of the meeting room,

not up and down the aisles, where they would interfere with the conduct

of the meeting itself. Television camera crews may record media conferences

but generally must arrange with the sole television feed provider—EWTN

in recent years—for TV footage of the meeting itself. EWTN is the Eternal

Word Television Network, an independent Catholic TV cable network based

in Irondale, Ala. Its Web address is .

During the course of a USCCB business meeting, any arrangements

to interview bishops should be made through the USCCB Office of Media

Relations, which always has a desk available at the meeting site to assist with

such arrangements. It is best to check the meeting agenda and to ask for an

interview to take place during a morning or afternoon coffee break, imme-

diately after the closing of the morning or afternoon session, or immediately

before the opening of the morning or afternoon session. Most bishops are

reluctant to leave the room while a meeting is in session in order to give an

interview, and other commitments may prevent many bishops from making

time for an interview outside the coffee breaks or immediately before or after

a business session. Anyone wishing to interview members of the USCCB staff

may also use the interview desk to make such arrangements.


USCCB coverage throughout the year

, the latest news releases from

the Office of Media Relations are available on the Web at .

The USCCB Web site also features current documents and numerous

background resources that journalists may find useful. Many of these can be

accessed through departmental pages. For example, if you click “departments”

and “ecumenical and interreligious affairs,” you will find links to a compre-

hensive library of documents from the national and international ecumenical

and interreligious dialogues in which the Catholic Church has engaged over

the past 40-plus years. If you click “social development and world peace,” you

will find links to a similar library of statements by the U.S. bishops, USCCB

testimony in Congress, and a variety of other resources on the bishops’ posi-