Vatican Radio

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Template:Infobox radio station thumb at Vatican City]] Vatican Radio (Template:Lang-it) is the official broadcasting service of the Vatican.

Set up in 1931 by Guglielmo Marconi, today its programs are offered in 47 languages, and are sent out on short wave (also DRM), medium wave, FM, satellite and the Internet. Since its inception, Vatican Radio has been maintained by the Jesuit Order. During World War II and the rise of Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany, Vatican Radio served as a source for news for the Allies as well as broadcasting pro-Allied (or simply neutral) propaganda.Template:Citation needed A week after Pope Pius XII ordered the programming, Vatican Radio broadcast to an unbelieving world that Poles and Jews were being rounded up and forced into ghettos.

Today, programming is produced by over two hundred journalists located in 61 different countries. Vatican Radio produces more than 42,000 hours of simultaneous broadcasting covering international news, religious celebrations, in-depth programs, and music. The current general director is Father Federico Lombardi, S.J.

History

1930s

Vatican Radio began broadcasting with the callsign HVJ on two shortwave frequencies using 10 kilowatts (kW) of power on February 12, 1931, with the pontificial message "Omni creaturae" of Pope Pius XI.<ref name="Levillain 2002: 1600">Levillain 2002: 1600</ref> Also in attendance was Guglielmo Marconi and Cardinal Eugenio Pacelli, who would become Pope Pius XII<ref name="Levillain 2002: 1600"/> Its first director was physicist Giuseppe Gianfranceschi, who was also the president of the Accademia dei Nuovi Lincei.

In 1933, a permanent microwave link was established between the Vatican Palace and the summer residence of the papacy, Castel Gandolfo.<ref name="Levillain 2002: 1600"/>

In 1936, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) recognized Vatican Radio as a "special case" and authorized its broadcasting without any geographical limits. On December 25, 1937, a Telefunken 25 kW transmitter and two directional antennas were added. Vatican Radio broadcast over 10 frequencies.<ref name="Levillain 2002: 1600"/>

World War II

Template:Main Following a December 1939 report from Cardinal August Hlond of Pozna? detailing the oppression of the Catholic Church in Poland, Pope Pius XII decided, among other measures, to use Vatican Radio to provide "information regarding the condition of the church in Poland." The German broadcast on January 21, 1940, compared German activities to "what the Communists imposed on Spain in 1936."; the English service noted the attacks on the Church were not limited to the Soviets.

During World War II, Vatican Radio's news broadcasts were (like all foreign broadcasts) banned in Germany. During the war, the radio service operated in four languages.

While some critics have said Pope Pius XII was too quiet regarding the Holocaust, Adler has examined the transcripts of wartime broadcasts over the Vatican Radio. Adler argues that it exposed Nazi persecution of the Church and opposed collaboration with Nazism. It appealed to Catholics to remain true to their faith's injunctions: to defend the sanctity of life and the unity of humankind. In so doing the Pope pursued a policy of spiritual resistance to Nazi ideology and racism.

1940s and 1950s

In 1948, services expanded to 18 languages.

Because of space purposes, the Holy See acquired a 400-hectare area located 18 kilometres north of Rome at Santa Maria di Galeria (GC: Template:Coord). The Italian Republic granted the site extraterritorial status in 1952.<ref name="Levillain 2002: 1600"/>

In 1957, a new broadcasting center was placed into operation, with a Philips 100 kW shortwave transmitter, two 10 kW shortwave transmitters, and one 120 kW mediumwave transmitter, with 21 directional and one omnidirectional antenna. The next phase involved two 100 kW transmitters aimed at Africa and Oceania, a 250 kW mediumwave transmitter for Europe, and a 500 kW transmitter for the Far East and Latin America.<ref name="Levillain 2002: 1600"/>

Radio Vaticana was one of 23 founding broadcasting organisations of the European Broadcasting Union in 1950.

2000s

In May 2009, it was announced that Vatican Radio would begin broadcasting commercial advertisements for the first time in July. The decision was made so as to meet the radio's rising costs, namely 21.4m euros a year. All advertisements would have to meet "high moral standards". According to information contained in a Catholic News Service (CNS) online news story on Vatican communications by Cindy Wooden posted on Tuesday, June 12, 2012, Vatican Radio will stop transmitting short- and medium-range broadcasts to North America, South America, and Europe on Sunday, July 1, 2012, and a month later in August the Vatican Press Office will close Vatican Information Service (VIS). For more information, please see the article.

Television

During the 1930s, the station made experimental television broadcasts. However, apart from a brief experimental revival in the 1950s, it was not until the 1990s that a regular 'satellite' television service began. The programs of TV2000 include programming from Vatican Television Center.

Transmitters

The signals are transmitted from a large shortwave and medium-wave transmission facility for Radio Vatican. The Santa Maria di Galeria Transmitter was established in 1957 and it is an extraterritorial area in Italy belonging to the Holy See. Vatican Radio's interval signal is a well-known sound on shortwave radio.

The most interesting aerial is the one for the medium wave frequency 1530 kHz, which consists of four 94 metre high grounded free standing towers arranged in a square, which carry wires for a medium wave aerial on horizontal crossbars. The direction of this aerial can be changed.

Radiation controversy

Template:Main The Santa Maria di Galeria transmitter site is the subject of a dispute between the station and some local residents who claim the non-ionising radiation from the site has affected their health and a study by cancer specialist Dr. Andrea Micheli has suggested that electromagnetic radiation from the antennas has caused excess risk of leukaemia and lymphomas in children. These claims are not accepted by the station.

See also

  • Index of Vatican City-related articles
  • International broadcasting
  • L'Osservatore Romano
  • Vatican Radio website DDoS attack from Anonymous on March 12th, 2012

Notes

Template:Reflist

References

  • Blet, Pierre. Pius XII and the Second World War: According to the Archives of the Vatican. Translated by Lawrence J. Johnson. 1999, Paulist Press. ISBN 0-8091-0503-9
  • Levilliain, Philippe. The Papacy: An Encyclopedia. Translated by John O'Malley. Routledge, 2002. ISBN 0-415-92228-3
  • Matelski, Marilyn J. Vatican Radio: Propagation by the Airwaves. 1995, Praeger ISBN 0-275-94760-2

External links

Template:Vatican City topics Template:World Radio Network Template:European Broadcasting Union Members Template:Telecommunications