No more navel gazing: Vatican communications czar

Msgr Dario Vigano/YouTube

Msgr Dario Eduardo Viganò, prefect of the new Holy See Secretariat for Communications, explains the progress made in reforming Vatican media to Vatican Radio's Alessandro Gisotti.

Clear indications in the Pope's Motu Proprio place the current digital culture at the centre of the reform and change the perspective into a "user first" one that challenges us to "stop navel-gazing in the assumption that others are listening and looking at us," says Msgr Viganò.

Noting that some 85 percent of the population use mobile devices to connect to media, the Pope's Motu Proprio is "an invitation to leave behind the arrogance of an unidirectional mode of communication" and to realise that we are called to bring the message of the Gospel to men and women of today who are immersed in new media."

Speaking of the past year of work, Msgr Viganò says it has been an intense but "fascinating" time that has seen some 400 people involved in more than 140 meetings in an effort to understand the existing potential and to draw up new projects. Some of these, he says, have resulted in investing in professional training and some staff members have been given the opportunity to "grow" by doing master degrees in business administration and communications.

Regarding the technical aspects of the reform and the presentation of a new multi-media internet portal, Msgr Viganò points out that "it's all very well to have a new portal with better software, more options, etc., but the real reform takes place behind the scenes." He describes the portal as the tip of an iceberg of a system in which everything will be produced by a concerted team effort: "We must learn to put our personal experience aside and put ourselves humbly in the position of learning because humility is the necessary way to approach the reform."

And regarding the new portal itself, Msgr Viganò explains it will feature videos, podcasts, images, print articles, and live radio. He says the advantages for those who listen/watch/read is that they will no longer be confused or "cannibalised" by turning to us.

Claiming that "we have been inexistent for the public," he says that when Francis was elected Pope most people consulted Wikipedia to discover who Jorge Mario Bergoglio was and says there is much work to be done regarding web reputation and positioning.

"We must become 'the source' for Vatican and Papal news – not the official source (that's the Press Office) but an important source," he says.


Msgr Viganò on one year into the Vatican Communications reform (Vatican Radio)



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