Reviewed by: Barbara Kudwa

Are you tired of misinformation, bias agendas, and lack of empathy in today’s way of communication? If the answer is yes, sit back and read William Schmitt’s compelling book, When Headlines Hurt: Do We Have a Prayer?  This book inspires hope for a future where communication builds communion and connects daily life to the Gospel of love.

  • Genre:  Non-fiction
  • Author’s Worldview:  Catholic
  • Year Published:  2018
  • Audience: Christian, Atheist, and Agnostic, Teenager to Adult
  • Themes: Catholic, Spirituality, Leadership, Prayer, Truth, Hope, Unity, Communications, Journalism, Producers, News Media and Politics

Schmitt’s background as a published journalist and multimedia consultant, with experience in public affairs, evangelization and Catholic faith-based education, allows him a unique perspective on how the media may regain the trust of society. As a solution to harmful communication, Schmitt encourages the reader to pray, and to reflect on Pope Francis’ inspiring words. He also urges us to recognize the evil in divisive communication, to remove venom from our judgments, to speak about others as our own brothers and sisters, to use words as seeds of goodness, to listen rather than shout, to be clear rather than ambiguous, and to speak truth, not falsehood.

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Throughout the book, Schmitt reflects on Pope Francis’ impressive universal message from World Communications Day 2018, “The Truth Will Set You Free.” Regardless of religious affiliation, Pope Francis’ words of hope offer an insightful starting point in healing journalism and social communication by promoting unity. Pope Francis will touch your heart with the original “Peace Prayer of Saint Francis” and his compelling new second version of the Peace Prayer for journalism. Pope Francis’ second version of the Peace Prayer is worth frequent repetition. His prayers inspire me and echo the love for the Gospel, communicating the “Good News.”

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I find Schmitt’s quick read full of profound reflections and a helpful reminder not to connect and engage in today’s ways of communication, but to use thoughtfulness. He acknowledges prayer as a powerful vehicle to reach out to the world. His book is a great gift, for teenagers to adults, encouraging healthy communication and communion. Let change begin with each of us. Amen.