Directors and staff of Italy’s national broadcaster, RAI, met with Pope Francis on Saturday in the context of its double-anniversary year.
broadcaster is marking its 90th anniversary in radio and its 60th anniversary in television.
their audience in the Paul VI Hall, the Pope took the occasion to
remind broadcasters of their responsibility to maintain high ethical
standards and to produce media that promotes human growth.
double-anniversary, said the Pope, is an occasion to reflect upon the
relationship between the RAI and the Holy See these past decades and on
the value and demands of public service broadcasting.
out the Second Vatican Council, papal elections, papal visits in Italy,
the Jubilee Year, and the funeral of John Paul II as examples, Pope
Francis said Italians have always been able to access the words and
images of the Pope and to follow Church events through RAI radio or
The Pope said the keyword he wanted to highlight on
the occasion of these two anniversaries is “collaboration”, in
particular the collaboration that happens between the RAI and the
Vatican’s radio and television broadcasters.
The Pope also
acknowledged the broadcaster’s various religious productions over the
years and its role in documenting change in Italian society and in
unifying Italy both linguistically and culturally.
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.”
The broadcaster “produces culture and
education, offers information and entertainment, which at every time of
day, reaches a large number of Italians.”
“It is a responsibility
to which, he who is owner of a public service, cannot abdicate for any
reason,” he said. “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
He urged the broadcasters to “work well” and to
invest trust and hope in their work, so as to communicate these values
in their broadcasts. “There is so much need (for trust and hope),” he
He also expressed the hope that, “pursuing with
determination and perseverance their objectives”, broadcasters “will
know how to be at the service of human, cultural and civil growth of
He concluded by wishing participants and their families a good New Year.
Cardinal Angelo Comastri, vicar general for Vatican City, celebrated mass for the attendees prior to the audience.