7 October 2010
. For the first time, the Vatican has held a conference for Catholic media professionals. Over four days, 230 journalists took part in discussions about the current challenges facing the Catholic press, its mission, its contribution to social dialogue and opportunities presented by new media.
Anna Arco, the English newspaper "Catholic Herald" said that Catholics in Internet media should be more interactive. For years, the Pontifical Council for Social Communications has encouraged them to master the new language and to use social networks to communicate the message of the Church. Anna Arco
Catholic Herald (United Kingdom)
“A very interesting point is that Catholics in the internet don't listen, they just talk, and he says the we need to become more interactive, to learn to listen as well. One of great dangers is relativism, but in a way this can be corrected by the church, if we make the church the reality in the world as well as on the internet”.
Msgr. Paul Tighe
Secretary, Pontifical Council for Social Communications
“We need good journalists, we need good editors. We need people who know how to speak the language of their listeners, of their readers”.
Participants from 85 different countries, also addressed the future of the Catholic press. According to Monsignor Tighe, adapting to new media does not mean letting go of traditional newspaper and radio.
Helen Osman, spokeswoman for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and Greg Erlandson, the chairman of the main U.S. Catholic newspaper, Our Sunday Visitor, said Catholic media needs to be more attractive, especially to youth.
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
“We have to re-imagine ourselves, we have to be more creative in understanding the world about us as we are in the business of providing information and formation to Catholics”.
President, Our Sunday Visitor (US)
“We don't have the same resources and we don't have the same advertisers so this is a big challenge particularly for young people. People are looking for example for a good website. Sometimes Catholic websites are very boring and secular ones are more attractive”.
The congress concluded by stressing that Catholic information should be more present on the internet. And one way to do that is to present it more attractively to young people who are the main users of the digitial media.