Refreshing water for TV
New digital television channels have gone online in Canada and Spain, with visitor traffic exceeding the expectations of the dioceses that started them. The sudden influx of quality Catholic content on television and the Internet has been a refreshing sur
by Jorge Enrique Mújica, LC | Source:
“I believe that we all share the feeling of living a unique, new experience which gives start to a different stage in the history of the Catholic communication”. With these words, Archbishop John Patrick Foley, president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, concluded the first World Congress of Catholic Television, celebrated last October in Madrid.
The fruits have come quickly. New digital television channels have gone online in Canada and Spain, with visitor traffic exceeding the expectations of the dioceses that started them. The sudden influx of quality Catholic content on television and the Internet has been a refreshing surprise.
H2ONews (www.h2onews.tv), one of the best-known of these new initiatives, is a startup based on collaboration between the Pontifical Council for Social Communications and Zenit News Agency (www.zenit.org). The service is adapted to various “new media” outlets: websites, mobile telephones, technology portals, and to both Catholic and commercial television.
The five daily news clips are marketed to media outlets with the possibility of being used, corrected and published according to local needs. Two or three of the clips originate from Rome, and the rest from affiliates worldwide; each is available in Spanish, French, English, Portuguese, German, Italian and Arabic.
Why “H2O”? Jesus Colina, director and founder of the project, gives the answer: "Water is an important Christian symbol of purification and salvation that is referred to Baptism… because souls need the freshness of good and healthy information."
This is the aim of this new proposal directed to the nearly 2,000 Catholic channels all around the globe: to be useful as a tool for getting reliable news about the Church in any place of the planet. The project uses the wider and more flexible Internet platform to complement the praiseworthy work of solid national channels such as Spain’s Popular TV, Italy’s SAT 2000, France’s KTO, Brazil’s Cançao Nova, and Boston’s diocesan channel, as well as other global service providers like EWTN.
On March 1st, the H2ONews website began to offer to TV chains on-demand responses about the “most global” person alive today, the Pope, as well as clips on life in the Holy See, Catholic organizations worldwide, and those opinions that most interest Catholics today.
The Italian press already calls it “the Catholic CNN”. H2ONews proves the vigor of lay Catholic initiative. Moreover, it shows what can be done by the Church in this new public sphere, the Areopagus of our times, to spread the Gospel thanks to savvy use of modern technology. That’s how important every “click” is in this ever-widening information society.
Translation by Shane Johnson LC
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