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Vatican media reform committee to make first proposals by Easter

Vatican City, Oct 1, 2014 / 04:01 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Having met for the first time last week, the committee to reform the Vatican's media and communications will continue to formulate its proposals, being able to present them by Easter of 2015.

In an interview granted to Vatican Radio Sept. 24, Chris Patten, who chairs the committee, emphasized that the Church’s resources must be “spent as effectively as possible” to communicate its unique message of “healing, love, hope and generosity of spirit.”

Patten's words thus disclose that the committee's first goal is to rationalize the expenses of the Vatican's media.

The committee was established in July, and met Sept. 22-24. It will again meet in November and December, making an in-depth analysis of the state and structure of Vatican media.

In addition to L'Osservatore Romano, the Vatican's media branches include Vatican Radio, CTV, the Holy See press office, the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, as well as its internet presence.

It includes five media experts from Europe, the U.S., Latin America, and Asia, and six representatives of Vatican offices, including the “Office for Information” of the Secretariat of State.

During their first meeting, the committee started the analysis of functioning, expenses, and duties of Vatican media, and the first presentation was reportedly made by Fr. Giuseppe Costa, director of Libreria Editrice Vaticana.

The committee will hear other top managers of the Vatican's media branches in its following meetings.

Vatican media are living a moment of transition, given the Vatican reform of economy issued July 7, and with a wider reform of the Roman curia in the offing.

As part of the economic reform, the Holy See press office is now under the “umbrella” of the Secretariat for the Economy regarding expenses and investments, as well as being under the Secretariat of State.

The Secretariat of State is also a head over Vatican Radio, CTV, and L'Osservatore Romano.

The reform of the Roman curia and of Vatican finances will both push forward the reform of Vatican media.

According to a source inside the Vatican, the current reform “should be one of having a unique platform providing content to be delivered to the various Vatican media, which would be under the umbrella of this platform.”

In his interview with Vatican Radio, Patten stressed that some Vatican budgets are “a little more opaque than one might like,” but he insisted the reform's main goal is to listen to peoples’ concerns and to ensure that the different parts of the Vatican's media work more closely and efficiently together.

The committee will also discuss how to improve the digital agenda of Vatican media, since – as Patten put it – “the media finds itself having to run constantly to keep up with changing technology. One is aware of the extent to which the young receive information in a different way from that in which I’ve received it traditionally.”

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