Tag Archives: Vatican Radio Shortwave

Vatican Radio’s Brazilian Portuguese language programming returns

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, David Iurescia (LW4DAF), who shares the following news via Zenit.org:

“The Brazilian program of Vatican Radio-Vatican News resumes its short-wave transmissions in the Amazon region,” announced the portal of Vatican News in Brazilian today, Monday, July 15, 2019, given the proximity of the holding of the Synod for Amazonia (October 6-27, on the theme: “New Ways for the Church and For An Integral Ecology.”

“For over 61 years, Brazil has been listening to the Pope’s voice through Vatican Radio. On August 1, after a period of absence, the Brazilian program of the papal station will return to Amazonia in short wave,” announced the same source.

And it adds: “Thus Vatican Radio-Vatican News shows its attention to an important region of Brazil, for which the radio is its main means of communication. The Pope’s voice will be listened to again on radio by more than 25 million people, who live in this lung of the planet. The decision to broadcast in short wave responds to the geographic reality of Amazonia.”

Vatican News recalls: “Created in March of 1958, twenty-seven years after the foundation of Vatican Radio, on February 12, 1931, the Brazilian program has followed seven pontificates, from Pius XII to Francis. At present, the Brazilians of Vatican Radio-Vatican News offer a wide gamut of daily programs in a multi-media style through different platforms: radio, Web and social networks.”

It also recalled: “On the occasion of the 50th anniversary, in March 2008, Benedict XVI expressed his gratitude to the said program for the inestimable service of proclaiming the Gospel and promoting communion between the Church and the people of Brazil.”

Click here to read the full article at Zenit.org.

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Vatican Radio’s English shortwave service to Asia ends

(Source: Vatican Radio via London Shortwave)

Vatican Radio’s English SW broadcast to Asia come to an end

Vatican Radio’s English shortwave broadcast for Asia has come to an end, with its last transmission going out Friday evening, after nearly 60 years of service.  However this does not mean it has disappeared altogether. What ultimately closed on March 24 as Vatican Radio’s English Service for Asia, is however very much alive online on Vatican Radio’s website.  The gradual phasing out of Vatican Radio’s shortwave frequencies is seen as part of the reform of the Roman Curia or the central administration of the Catholic Church here in the Vatican, called for by Pope Francis.  The Pope established the new dicastery or office of the Secretariat for Communications on June 27, 2015, ?bringing 9 media bodies of the Vatican, including Vatican Radio, under the Secretariat’s direction, with the purpose of overhauling, streamlining and ultimately merging them as a cohesive unit.

What ended on March 24 as Vatican Radio’s English Service for Asia began way back in 1958. The only ?English programme of Vatican Radio then, headed by Jesuit Father Thomas O’Donnell, was repeated a number of times in different directions, ?including towards Africa and South Asia.   It was a weekly 10-minute news broadcast  for India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.   However, the need for special programmes adapted to the ?distinctive cultural needs and tastes of Africa and South Asia gave way to independent programmes for ?these two regions.   ?In 1964 South Asia got a boost when Pope Paul VI visited Bombay (today Mumbai), India for the 38th International Eucharistic Congress from 2nd to 5th of December.  Hence in May 1965, the Indian Section officially came into being with a 10-minute broadcast twice a week each in the evening in Hindi, Tamil and Malayalam , while English went on air daily Monday through Saturday.   In 1982, all the four languages began re-broadcasting their evening programmes the following morning.   Three years later – on May 12, 1985, the Malayalam programme got extra airing time, broadcasting for 15 minutes in the morning, whereas the rest continued broadcasting for 10 minutes.

In 1986, Pope John Paul II visited India from January 31 to February 11.   Just prior to this visit, on January 7th that year, Hindi, Tamil and English were given extra time, and so all the four languages began broadcasting daily for 15 minutes each, in the morning, which was a feature programme.  The evening transmission consisted of 6 minutes of news only.   By the end of 1986 the evening 6-minute news increased to 10 minutes and was repeated the following morning.

On March 25, 1990, Hindi, Tamil Malayalam and English began broadcasting for 15 minutes each, repeating it the following morning.  And from Sept. 23, 1993, the four languages were transmitting for nearly 20 minutes each, repeating the evening programme twice the following morning.

It was on Oct 24, 1993 that the fifth language, Urdu, that is spoken mainly in Pakistan but is also widely followed in India, especially in the north, was added to the Indian Section.  It began with a 7-minute Sunday programme, as part of the Hindi programme.  On March 30, 2003 Urdu became a stand-alone programme, broadcasting for 15-minutes on Sundays and Wednesdays, and repeated the following mornings.  The Urdu programme however closed down in  September, 2013, after nearly 20 ?years of service.

On May 16, 2015, Vatican Radio marked the 50th anniversary of its Indian programmes with a ?Holy ?Mass and a reception.

Read this full article at Vatican Radio.

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Bishops ask for “restoration” of Vatican shortwave transmissions to Africa

(Source: Yahoo News via London Shortwave)

Vatican City (AFP) – African bishops have asked Radio Vatican, the official radio of the pope, to restore shortwave transmissions to the continent, the Catholic agency Fides reported on Friday.

[…]The Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM), meeting in the Ghanaian capital Accra, has written a letter expressing “concern about the recent shutdown of the shortwave services of the radio, which afforded millions of Africans the opportunity to hear (the) Holy Father and share in the Church’s concerns and mission,” Fides said.

[…]This year, services to Africa, Asia and the Middle East will be slashed, Fides said.”While recognising that Vatican Radio services can still be received through the Internet,” the SECAM said “many Africans simply do not have the means or the technology to enjoy such services”.

[…]Radio Vatican was created in 1931 and has services in 45 languages.

With the latest move “a heritage is in the process of being destroyed,” a Fides journalist told AFP.

Read the full article at Yahoo News.

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Could NHK Japan purchase Santa Maria di Galeria site?

(Source: CatholicCulture.org via London Shortwave)

As Vatican Radio ends short-wave broadcasts, others expand

As Vatican Radio closes an era by ending its short-wave transmissions, other broadcasters are stepping up their involvement in the short-wave field, notes Sandro Magister of L’Espresso.

Msgr. Dario Vigano, the prefect of the Vatican’s new Secretariat for Communications, has cut off short-wave broadcasts—long the heart of the Vatican Radio operation—in a move to cut costs and move toward emphasis on communicating through the internet. But Magister observes that short-wave transmissions retain their “unique ability to arrive as a free and true voice even in the most geographically and politically inhospitable places of the world.”

The Italian Vatican-watcher reports that other broadcasters are expanding their short-wave offerings. BBC has invested £85 million (almost $105 million) in a drive to expand its short-wave capacity. And Japan’s NHK network has inquired about purchasing the broadcasting station at Santa Maria di Galeria, just outside Rome, that Vatican Radio will no longer use.

Read this article at CatholicCulture.org.

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Vatican Radio being absorbed into new Secretariat for Communications

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor Andrea Borgnino who shares this item from the National Catholic Register:

[O]n December 31, 2016, after more than 80 years of operation, Vatican Radio is being absorbed into the new Secretariat for Communications. The move is part of Pope Francis’ reorganization of Curial offices, and is intended to make better use of the Vatican’s limited financial resources. According to Catholic World News, broadcasting programs will continue—at least for the near-term future—but Vatican Radio will no longer have its own corporate identity.

Today, Vatican Radio employs a staff of 355 representing 59 nationalities, mostly lay people, who together produce more than 66 hours of daily programming (24,117 hours annually). There are currently 45 languages used on air, and 38 languages on the website. Programs are broadcast via short wave, medium wave, FM and satellite.

In recent years, Vatican Radio has experimented with digital transmission technologies (DRM, T-DAB, T-DMB). Their news reports and bulletins have been widely distributed through newsletters, podcasts, audio and video, paving the way to a Web TV. Vatican Radio and CTV began their own YouTube channel in 2010, operating in four languages, and on Twitter (6 channels).

Today with the reform of Vatican communications operations, Vatican Radio director Msgr. Dario Vigano has indicated that he plans to pare down short-wave radio operations. Other broadcasts will continue, but with an eye to controlling costs: Vatican Radio has been losing between €20 and €30 million ($21 – $31.5 million) annually.[…]

Click here to read the full article.

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Vatican Radio Christmas specials

(Source: Mauno Ritola via the WRTH Facebook page)

Vatican Radio special broadcasts on Christmas:

Saturday 24 December 2016
1600-1652 [UTC]
Mass in Chinese 5975 7200 kHz 2025-2230
Portuguese 11625 kHz Angola and Mozambique
French 6080 kHz West Africa
English 7275 kHz Central Africa
Chinese 6185 kHz China

Sunday 25 December 2016
1055-1130 [UTC]
Portuguese 21560 kHz Angola and Mozambique
French 17520 kHz West Africa
English 15570 kHz Central Africa

Live audio from S.Peter’s without any comment:

  • 9645 kHz, 11740 kHz Europe
  • 15595 kHz Near East

All from Santa Maria di Galeria.
http://www.radiovaticana.va

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Is the end near for Vatican Radio’s shortwave service?

radio_vaticano

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Andrea Bornino, for sharing the following article from espressonline.it:

Goodbye, Jesuits. Vatican Media Get a New Face and New Boss

And this with a Jesuit pope, no less. Vatican Radio will stop broadcasting on shortwave. And “L’Osservatore Romano” will also be absorbed into a single “content hub.” Under the command of Monsignor Dario Viganò

by Sandro Magister

[…]

Because in effect Vatican Radio costs a great deal. It does not run advertising, its revenues are paltry and its numerous linguistic sections push to about thirty-five the number of journalists on the payroll. The total shortfall fluctuates between twenty and thirty million euro per year.

Well then, Monsignor Viganò doesn’t want to hear about shortwave anymore. He sees it as antiquated and to be dismantled, because it has been supplanted by the web. While instead for Fr. Lombardi it continues to have an essential role “of service to the poor, the oppressed, the minorities, rather than of subjection to the imperative of the maximization of the audience.”

They are two antithetical visions. But the marching route appears to have been marked out already. In Africa, where internet access is sporadic, Viganò has announced an agreement with Facebook through which the pope’s messages will be brought to 44 countries by cell phone, through an app.

By December, in short, Vatican Radio will cease to exist as a self-contained reality. It will be incorporated into a single centralized “content hub,” or in Viganò’s words, into “a single center of multimedia production of texts, images, audiovisuals and radio podcasts in multiple languages,” beneath a single editorial leadership held by Viganò himself today and soon to be handed over to a “task force of journalists,” many of them drawn from Vatican Radio itself and adapted to the new role.[…]

Read the full article by clicking here.

I can’t quite tell if this is a news item or opinion piece.

Post readers: Have you noted other sources confirming the closure of Vatican Radio’s shortwave service?  I know this topic is certainly on the table at Vatican Radio, especially since it’s been discussed in the past.

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