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Sunday Examiner should go digital

HONG KONG (SE): Father Josekutty Mathew, who took over Father Jim Mulroney as the deputy editor-in-chief of the Sunday Examiner, said he hopes to strengthen the readership of the newspaper by making good use of the Internet as well as mobile media. 
 
Father Jose, a Claretian Missionary, was born in Kerala, India. The 44-year-old joined the congregation in 1988. 
 
Besides studying theology and philosophy at St. Peter’s Pontifical Institute Bangalore, he holds a Masters degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Mangalore University in India. 
 
He was ordained a priest at the Little Flower Church in Marygiri in 2003. After serving in a parish in Andhra Pradesh for a year, he was appointed vice principal of St. Claret College, Bangalore, and taught journalism for four years.
 
Father Jose became the first Claretian Missionary to be assigned to Hong Kong in 2009. On completion of his Chinese language training in 2011, he was appointed assistant parish priest at St. Benedict’s Church, Shatin, during which he also served as a member of the Hong Kong Catholic Board of Communications and the Diocesan Youth Commission. 
 
Looking ahead to the future of the Sunday Examiner, Father Jose said in an interview with the Kung Kao Po on January 10 that, while people increasingly rely on the Internet or the mobile media to get information, the Sunday Examiner would still cater to readers who prefer to read a newspaper they can hold in their hands. 
 
At the same time, he also hopes to venture into digital and mobile media to more effectively engage readers and update them with varied views and information. 
 
Father Jose said that a newspaper is a product and that the Sunday Examiner needs good marketing to reach more readers. 
 
As it is the English-language Catholic weekly of the diocese, parishes and schools of the diocese can take a hand in promoting the paper in their parishes and institutions. “The role of the parish priests and school principals in promoting the paper is so vital,” he said. 
 
He also expressed hopes that the Sunday Examiner would make good use of social media to interact with readers so as to know more about their aspirations and needs. 
 
As for newspaper content, he said that besides local Church happenings, news from the Church in Asia continues to be the focus of the paper.
 
Father Jose believes there is room to expand the readership of the paper given the large number of non-Chinese speaking Catholics in Hong Kong. 
 
According to statistics from the diocese, in 2016 it was estimated that there are 166,000 Filipino Catholics in Hong Kong while the number of Catholics from other nationalities is around 36,000. 
 
Since 2015, together with two Claretian confrères, Father Jose has been serving the nearly 400 parishioners of Epiphany parish who live in Tai O, Mui Wo and Peng Chau. He says he enjoys his ministry there. 
 
“It surprises me that there are many in Hong Kong who have never been to Mui Wo or Tai O. South Lantau has a beautiful environment and picturesque landscape that enables one to have a peaceful mind and a clear head. You are welcome to visit us in Epiphany parish!” he said.

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