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Vatican Radio moving from short-wave broadcast to newer technologies

Catholic World News - June 12, 2012

Vatican Radio plans to cut its short- and medium-wave radio transmissions to Europe and the Americas, as part of a move to embrace newer technology.

Announcing what he called a “new chapter in the history of Vatican Radio,” Father Federico Lombardi—who is director-general of the broadcast service, as well as director of the Vatican press office—said that the traditional radio broadcasts were no longer needed, because of developments in on-line broadcasting:

Webcasting and satellite transmissions, along with rebroadcasting by local, regional and national radio stations, guarantee the widest possible outreach to Vatican Radio’s programming and services. Which is why Vatican Radio believes the time has come to reduce its reliance on traditional technologies, like short- and medium-wave broadcasts, and to develop its resources in new directions.

Father Lombardi said that traditional Vatican Radio broadcasts will still be made available to Africa, Asia, and the Middle East, where advanced technologies are not generally available to bring the voice of the Vatican to the people.

The move away from short-wave broadcasting will bring another benefit for Vatican Radio. It will curtail the use of the massive Vatican Radio broadcast facility in Santa Maria di Galeria, a neighborhood just north of Rome, where residents have complained that the high level of electromagnetic emissions could be damaging to their health. The Vatican has denied those claims.

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