Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Vatican controls all the live film we see? Part 3

You will note the addition of a question mark to the title above. It is there because judging from comments on this blog and remarks made to me privately, by both French and British friends, it now seems that the title is inaccurate as a statement. For instance, the Vatican did not control the South African channel that was watched by our commenter Fiona, nor did it prevent France TV2 from showing even more detail of the attack on the Pope, despite the fact that the French programme was aired two hours after the event and which the channel claimed in its advance schedules to be a live' broadcast. What happened on EWTN? Can anyone tell me? Was kto, the only station to exercise obvious censorship? And in the bizarre way I have already described? Was it a policy decision of their own, or was it at someone else's behest?

The conduct of this French Catholic channel may seem unimportant in the USA or the UK. Quite to the contrary it is extremely important that a station which has been helping to re-catholicise France for the past ten years, should retain its integrity and the trust of its viewers. The standard of its programmes is consistently high, even though one may not always agree with some of the views expressed. Its series of separate interviews with French bishops is particularly telling and informative as to the present and varied complexion of the French. episcopate. And up until Christmas Eve, it has been second to none in its live broadcasting of Papal events. For instance tomorrow it will air live broadcasts of Papal Vespers and on New Years's day, the Pope's 10 am Mass in St. Peter's. Normally it has hit just the right balance in the amount of commentary during liturgical events. It doesn't talk-over and waffle through the most sacred moments, as I have seen and heard on EWTN. I've seen recent complaints on other blogs about the tendency on EWTN to over-talk. Generally kto could teach it a thing or two.

In the build up to Christmas I had been planning to post in praise of kto, and to ask why we could not have such a channel based in the UK. We need it in all conscience. Perhaps such a thing could be inaugurated to mark Pope Benedict's visit and the Beatification of Cardinal Newman. It seems a terrible omission for posterity, and with present technology, that these historic events will not be commented on by British Catholics on their own independent channel.

For some time I thought that kto was run by the French bishops Conference. Apparently this is not strictly true. kto itself declares on its site that the bishops 'recognise' it, not that they control it. One sincerely hopes that if any such enterprise is planned in the UK, that it will be organised on the same lines, independently of the Bishops Conference.

The kto site has a photograph of its team. Allowing for absences it probably has at least 50 major personnel. Just for fun the other night I make a list of Brits on the Blogosphere whom I would respect as qualified and competent to run the presentation of such a channel. After less than five minutes I had a list of over twenty names, male and female, clerical/religious and lay, even two good candidates for the Anglican Ordinariates. The list also represented a good spread over the age range. Apart from proven communication skills many of these people have their own specialist areas relevant to the case.

Oh well, I thought, perhaps I'll try to do something about it after Christmas. I don't think I'm mad, but I do wonder sometimes!!

In the meantime, I'm watching for more news from kto and/or the Vatican. Will post anything relevant.


pelerin said...

Well well well! I have been watching programmes on kto since I first had my computer and never knew there was a photo of the team on the site until you mentioned it. Just found it and aren't they young! It certainly bodes well for the future of the channel.

Looking at the photo I could not at first find a certain prominent presenter and then I spotted her somewhat obscured near the front. However my favourite interviewer was obviously away that day!

Jane said...


The photo of the 'team' has only been there since they began their tenth anniversary celebrations.

D'accord, great to see old/young P. de St. P. lurking almost hiddenn amongst her staff. Another sign of what a good woman she is. I think most of them are the technical people.It would have been more impressive if some of the 'personality' presenters had managed to be there too.

I do applaud the fact of their youth, but I wish the more 'mature' had an obvious representation!

pelerin said...

Yes I agree. P. shows how modest she is by almost hiding there. I wonder if she will be sent here to comment on the Pope's visit next year? She seems to get about on the important visits.

Jane said...


Yes, I think almost certainly she will do the commentary in French for the Pope's visit. She's always visible at the diembarkation of the press cohort on arrival of the papal plane at 'outlandish' places!But she doesn't seem too hot on other languages and someone else always helps out, that priest who did the peculiar non-commentary on Christmas Eve for instance. We will see, but God bless her and her work.

pelerin said...

How did you know it was a priest who did the non-commentary on Christmas Eve? How on earth did he manage to show no emotion whatsoever at the obvious kerfuffle going on?