Vaticannews.va will bring together audio, text and video, and will launch in six languages

Before Christmas, the Vatican plans to launch its new multimedia communications website, although the Vatican Radio and Vatican Television Center sites will stay accessible as archives.

Mgr Dario Vigano, prefect of the Secretariat for Communication, announced on December 13 that the new site — vaticannews.va — would be launched in beta form “in the coming days.”

The public announcement came the day after Mgr Vigano presented the site to Pope Francis and his international Council of Cardinals and explained to the council the progress made in unifying the various Vatican media.

“The cornerstone of the system, fruit of a process of consolidation on an economic and technical level, is represented by the Editorial Multimedia Center,” which will be a single structure responsible for producing audio, text, video and graphics in several languages and for use on a variety of platforms, including the new website and social media.

The Secretariat for Communication’s editorial board will determine how various events and issues are presented and covered.

According to a statement from Mgr Vigano, eventually the multimedia centre will include about 350 employees drawn from the 40 language programs of the former Vatican Radio and from the nine institutions — the radio, Vatican newspaper, Vatican television production centre, Vatican printing press, etc. — that now form part of the secretariat.

The multimedia centre will begin its work with 70 people working in six languages: Italian, English, French, German, Spanish and Portuguese. They will focus on four areas: the Pope, the Vatican, the Church and the world.

Greg Burke, director of the Vatican press office, briefed reporters on the meeting of the Council of Cardinals on December 11-13, including on Mgr Vigano’s report that the new website and production centre simply the “first visible and concrete expression” of the unified approach to communications requested by the Pope and cardinals.

More generally, the Pope and cardinals discussed “the Curia as an instrument of evangelization and of service to the Pope and the local churches,” Burke said. The idea of the “reform of the Roman Curia” is not simply to change structures, “but mentalities.