August 11, 2014 — Jesuit-run America magazine is undergoing the most dramatic expansion of its domestic and international coverage in 30 years with several recent appointments. The magazine named as Vatican Correspondent, Sister Mary Ann Walsh, RSM, as U.S. Church Correspondent and additional correspondents in Miami, Chicago, Los Angeles and Beijing.
As a full-time Associate Editor and Vatican Correspondent, O’Connell will serve as the Rome bureau chief for America, the first appointment of its kind in the publication’s 105-year-old history.
“He will provide comprehensive coverage of this extraordinary moment in the life of the papacy and in the life of the Society of Jesus,” said Jesuit Father Matt Malone, Editor in Chief. “Mr. O’Connell is a senior member of the Vatican press corps and has an extensive network of contacts throughout the world that will position America as a ‘go-to’ resource for analysis and reporting from the heart of the church.”
Sr. Walsh, who previously served as Director of Media Relations for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, will be responsible for planning and producing America’s coverage of the U.S. Church. Her appointment is another significant first for the magazine: she is the first religious sister to serve on America’s editorial staff.
America also named correspondents in four other cities: Timothy Padgett, a former Newsweek and Time bureau chief, in Miami; Judith Valente, a journalist, poet and essayist, in Chicago; Jesuit Father James McDermott, a former Associate Editor of America, in Los Angeles; and Steven Schwankert, an award-winning writer and editor with 17 years of experience in Greater China, in Beijing.
“At a time when many U.S. media outlets are cutting back on coverage, we are making a significant new investment on behalf of our readers,” said Fr. Malone. The magazine recently earned a record-breaking 27 awards for journalistic excellence from the Catholic Press Association, the most awards won by America in a single year.
[Sources: Jesuit Curia; America Magazine: Sr. Mary Ann Walsh, R.S.M., Named U.S. Church Correspondent for 'America'; 'America' Announces First Round of New Correspondents in Miami, Chicago, Los Angeles and Beijing]