NEWS published on 22 Jan 2014

Pope honours public broadcasting achievements on RAI anniversary

Pope Francis speaking in the Vatican to EBU delegation (Still from video: Vatican Television)

To mark the 60th anniversary of public television and the 90th anniversary of public radio in Italy, a selected delegation of EBU leaders, along with staff from RAI, were invited to join Pope Francis at the Paul VI Audience Hall in the Vatican on 18 January.

After an introduction by RAI President Anna Maria Tarantola, the Pope spoke about the duties of public service media sector, highlighting the past 60 years of cooperation between the Vatican and RAI:

"Recalling such a rich history of accomplishments also calls us to a renewed sense of responsibility,” he said. “I remind you that your profession, in addition to being informative, is formative; it is a public service, that is, a service for the common good, a service for truth, for goodness, and for beauty.”

He went on to say that "ethical communication is, in the final analysis, the fruit of an attentive conscience - not one that is superficial - that is always respectful of people, both those about whom the information is given and of the receivers of the message. Each person [in broadcasting] in their respective role and responsibility, is called to be vigilant in order to maintain high ethical standards of communication, and to avoid those things that create much harm: misinformation, defamation and slander.”

He urged broadcasters to strive towards winning audience trust and fueling public hope. “There is so much need (for trust and hope),” he said. "By pursuing with determination and perseverance their objectives [broadcasters] will know how to be at the service of human, cultural and civil growth of society.”

The EBU delegation, lead by EBU President Jean-Paul Philippot and EBU Director General Ingrid Deltenre, included Rémy Pflimin (France Télévisions President), Leopoldo Gonzalez Echenique (RTVE President), Juliusz Braun (TVP President), Ovidiu Miculescu (ROR President and Director General), Tonio Portughese (PBS Chairman), Luca Marcucci (San Marino RTV President), Paolo Garimberti (EURONEWS President of the Surveillance Board), Eva Hamilton (SVT Director General), Gilles Marchand (RTS Director), Goran Radman (HRT Director General), Frank-Dieter Freiling (ZDF Senior Vice President, International Affairs), Graham Ellis (BBC Controller Production and Deputy Director, Radio), Jean-Marc Dubois (CIRCOM President), Pier Luigi Malesani (COPEAM Secretary General), Valérie Gerbault (CMCA General Director a.i.).

More on this can be found at the Vatican Radio website.