‘The Catholic Standard’, the only newspaper of the Catholic church in Ghana turns 80 this year. At a press launch on Wednesday 23rd January, 2018, a new logo to mark the 80th anniversary was revealed as well as a programme of activities for a year-long celebration. The activities include Lectures; a health walk; raffle-draw; fun games; a Nuncio-award ceremony for leading subscribers, vendors, columnists, writers, advertisers; a quiz competition; a fund-raising dinner dance and a Thanksgiving service. The theme for the celebration is “80 Years of Promoting Intergral Human Development in Ghana.”
Launching the programme, the Metropolitan Archbishop of Accra, the Most Reverend Gabriel Charles Palmer Buckle noted that the paper had built a reputation of courage and truthfulness and played a great role in the struggle towards independence and the post independence era. He said that the major role of the paper was to educate, inform, transform and promote integral human development. He said that the paper published stories on science, morals, economics, politics among others and urged families, schools, insitutions and associations to subscribe to the paper. The Archbishop urged catholic and non-catholic businesses to place adverts in the paper to help make it economically viable.
The paper was founded by Rev. Fr. Piet Derickx, an SMA Missionary in 1938 as a fortnightly four-page paper and was called “DUX” meaning ‘Leader’ in Latin. This paper was later transformed into ‘The Standard’ in 1938 and was officially registered as a national weekly in 1940 with the name, ‘The Standard’, printed by the Catholic Mission Press in Cape Coast. It was later transferred to Accra.
On April 12, 2009, on the advice of the former Apostolic Nuncio, Most Rev. Leon B. Kalenga, the masthead was changed to ‘The Catholic Standard’ to reflect its Catholic identity.
One of its missions, is to be the voice of the voiceless, reflecting the truth and at the same time, committing itself to the socio-economic development and civic education of the people of Ghana. Its vision is to foster unity among the people and promote evangelisation.
‘The Catholic Standard’ was banned on December 13, 1985 for ‘writing in a manner that jeopardised the national interest.’ Through the efforts of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference, the ban was lifted in 1992. Due to financial constraints, the paper struggled to commence operations until December, 1995 when persistent efforts of Most Rev Peter Appiah Turkson, then the Episcopal Chairman of the Department of Social Communications and the Board of Standard Newspapers and Magazines, paid off.
In spite of the stiff competition arising from the proliferation of newspapers, coupled with the poor reading culture in Ghana, ‘The Catholic Standard has managed to remain on the newsstands as the leading christian newspaper.
It is circulated weekly all over Ghana and has subscribers in Europe and America. Online subscription will be made available by the end of the first quarter of 2018.
The event was chaired by the Bishop of Sunyani and Episcopal Chairman of Social Communications of the Ghana Catholic Bishops’ Conference, Most Reverend Matthew Gyamfi.