Vatican TV Celebrates Its 30th Birthday as It Adapts to Pope Francis

by Kathy Jones on Oct 19 2013 5:56 PM

 Vatican TV Celebrates Its 30th Birthday as It Adapts to Pope Francis
Even as it celebrates its 30th birthday since being set up by the late John Paul II, the Vatican television service is busy changing its style in order to adapt to Pope Francis.
"We are putting technological innovation at the service of the new evangelisation," Dario Edoardo Vigano, a priest and director of the Centro Televisivo Vaticano (CTV), said on Friday.

CTV is updating its HD video platform and is soon set to adopt ultra-HD for the best quality images of masses, ceremonies and popemobile tours.

The service is also digitalizing some 20,000 video cassettes covering all the major historic events at the Vatican of the past 30 years.

These range from a meeting between pope John Paul II and then Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev in 1989 to his funeral attended by millions of people.

There are more recent events being remastered in the archive too like Benedict XVI's last trip from the Vatican by helicopter as pope or the first appearance of newly-elected Francis.

The Argentine pope has shown a strong desire to interact as much as possible with his followers and CTV is having to change its filming style.

Cameras have been placed in the middle of the crowd, there are more close-ups of his face and images of him speaking to ordinary faithful.

Vigano said CTV aims to communicate "the great emotional intensity of the pope's meetings".

"There is a renewal in terms of language, it is like a new aesthetic of directness," he said.

CTV, which started on October 22, 1983 only has 22 employees but its broadcasts have been transmitted by television stations around the world.