“Catholic media have a particular responsibility tied to their work. That responsibility means that no one should be left out. This is important, and it is part of the reason why Pope Francis often speaks about the Church on the periphery. Radio is not ‘old media’. In my opinion, radio is also media for the future. Consider the fact that new ways of using or listening to radio are constantly coming up. Take the podcast phenomenon. Podcasts are proving to be a new way of listening to the radio. Radio still has that unique possibility of enabling the sharing of good stories – quickly and in real-time. When I speak of good news or good stories, I do not speak about an artificial reality. Good stories may or may not be dramatic. Yet they can be told in such a way that it is possible to see the faces of people, hear their voices unfiltered and listen to them articulate their own testimonies.”
Doctor Andrea Tornielli, the Editorial Director of Vatican Media, addressed these words to a group of international Catholic radio practitioners as they began their meeting in Rome recently under the auspices of the re-launched SIGNIS Radio Desk.
An intense but fruitful three days of exchange
The SIGNIS Radio Desk team met for three days at the Domus Internationalis Paulus VI in Rome. The purpose was to plan strategies to open up membership to broader participation, enabling members from all continents to share programmes, ideas and also to learn from each other. Also present at the opening session of the meeting was Dr Alessandro Gisotti, the former Interim Director of the Vatican Press Office and now Deputy Editorial Director of Vatican Media.
The Vatican Widget
Both Doctors Tornielli and Gisotti urged participants to collaborate and support Vatican communications initiatives. In particular, they requested the support of SIGNIS in the promotion and use of the Vatican Widget, an application already available, designed to provide live content updates from the Vatican to diocesan or national websites. (To embed the widget on your website – episcopal conference, diocesan, parish, radio, TV – kindly contact widgets@ vatican.va with your request).
Research in Catholic radio and other media
Some recommendations from the meeting included opening up the Radio Desk team to more members across the globe, especially those working in Catholic media; carrying out and promoting research in Catholic radio and media around the world. The research findings will then be made available on the SIGNIS website and social media. Other initiatives to be undertaken are encouraging the formation and training in the medium of radio as a tool for evangelisation around the world.
A SIGNIS radio encounter in Sri Lanka, October 2020
It was also agreed that an international radio encounter would be held in Sri Lanka, October 2020. The gathering in Sri Lanka will be an encounter bringing Asia and the world under the SIGNIS and SIGNIS-Asia Radio desks. It will be open to all those engaged with Catholic radio or media. Interested participants can receive more information on this media encounter by emailing Radio.email@example.com.
Share: A new catchword for the SIGNIS Radio Desk
Commenting on the meeting, Angela Morais of Brazil said she was happy that the Radio Desk had chosen as its driving force the word share. At the beginning of the meeting, the Radio Desk chose the verb “to share” as a way of symbolizing what the desk wants to achieve.
The miracle of the five loaves and two fishes in the Gospels was based on sharing. Jesus used five loaves and two fishes shared by the boy to feed a multitude. When we share, no one goes away from the table hungry.
“For the Radio Desk, the verb ‘to share’ was an aha! moment in our thinking about the world reality and the reality of radio. The more we can share edifying projects happening around the world, the better for the message the Gospel,” explained Morais.
Participants at the meeting included the SIGNIS Desk Chair, Fr. Paul Samasumo (Italy); Maria Chiara De Lorenzo (Italy) Isabel Gatti (Argentina); Fr. Andrew Kaufa (Kenya); Angela Morais (Brazil); Bernadetta Widiandayani (Indonesia); Pamela Aleman (Canada). Also in attendance were José Alberto Chavez Del Rio and Isaac Atchikiti, both of SIGNIS Services Rome.
The is article was published in SIGNIS Media. Special digital edition.
SIGNIS Publications available at http://www.signisasia.net/publications/