Vatican juggles communications to use new technologies

Vatican radio is reducing is use of Short and Medium Wave radio transmissions to most of Europe and the United States, and replace them with new communications technologies.

The move, announced by Director General of Vatican Radio, Fr Federico Lombardi, SJ, is to happen on July 1.

Lombardi said newer developments in communications technology meant the traditional radio broadcasts were no longer needed.

“Webcasting and satellite transmissions, along with rebroadcasting by local, regional and national radio stations, guarantee the widest possible outreach to Vatican Radio’s programming and services. Which is why Vatican Radio believes the time has come to reduce its reliance on traditional technologies, like short- and medium-wave broadcasts, and to develop its resources in new directions,” said Lombardi.

According to Lombardi, these broadcasts account for about 50% of the Radio and Television Centre’s transmission time, and while Short Wave transmissions will be further reduced over the next few years the Vatican has no intention to cut the service to the likes of the Middle East, Africa and Asia.

The reduction in these broadcasts will delight the people of Santa Maria di Galeria, the neighbourhood where broadcast facility is located. Residents have long complained that the high levels of electromagnetic emissions endanger their health.

In an apparently separate move, and at the direction of Secretary of State, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the daily news bulletin, VIS, (Vatican Information Service) will no longer be distributed. Staff are being reassigned to the Holy See Press Office or the staff of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications news portal.

The 60,000 subscribers to VIS will have their subscriptions transferred to receive bulletins from the Holy See Press Office.



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