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The “digital continent” – recalls Pope Benedict XVI – is a huge potential for connection, communication and understanding between individuals and communities as well as an opportunity for cooperation between peoples from different geographical and cultural settings.
Eight years after the “Parabole mediatiche” (Media Parables), the Italian Church promotes one further opportunity for exchanging ideas and exploring media, as suggestive of the will to understand the changes worked by the new technology in terms of communication and human relations, so that we are not mere consumers but the witnesses of the liveliness of the Christian faith in this new culture as well.
The website of the conference
Providing information, multimedia contents and boosting interactive dialogue around the national conference “Digital witnesses. Faces and languages of the cross-media era” (Rome, 22-24 April 2010) is the mission of the website www.testimonidigitali.it, online since 24th January 2010. The conference is promoted by the Bishops Commission for Culture and Social Communication and organised by the Office for Social Communication and the National Service for the Cultural Project of CEI, the Italian Bishops’ Conference. “The website uses the opportunities provided by social networks and is divided into several areas and multimedia sections, ranging from news to pictures, audio-video spaces as well as traditional web pages, like the newsroom web page, where people can read, download releases and press reviews and journalists can be accredited on line”, explains Giovanni Silvestri, director of the Information Service of the Italian Bishops’ Conference. The “How to Participate” area will be very helpful to people who want to learn more about how to attend the meeting or Benedict XVI’s audience in the Vatican. “The new digital technology has changed the way the Internet is used – points out monsignor Domenico Pompili, spokesman of the Italian Bishops Conference –. In the past, it was mainly used to consult websites and collect information. Nowadays, the web has become a place of inclusion and sharing”. The innovation of the website is a community chaired by Saverio Simonelli, editor in chief of Tv2000, where people can interact and exchange views on the old and new media. In addition, a section will host blogs written by priests, religious and lay people, such as Chiara Giaccardi, lecturer at Milan’s Università cattolica del Sacro Cuore, don Fortunato Di Noto, president of the Meter Association; father Giulio Albanese, editor of Popoli e Missione; don Marco Sanavio, author of the Tipi da web column on Avvenire, and Ernesto Diaco, deputy director of the National Service for the Cultural Project of the Italian Bishops’ Conference. While the Wiki area of the website will be edited by don Paolo Padrini, the inventor of I-Breviary, who will thus repeat the experience he had one year ago on the occasion of the World Day of Social Communication. In addition, one area will host social networks, with a dedicated Youtube channel and an option to “twitter” about the items on the agenda of the meeting. Groups too will have their space on Facebook and Anobii, spearheaded by the students of the Anicec course, an advanced training course in e-learning for communication and cultural workers. From now on, the “mediacenter” area of the website www.testimonidigitali.it will be hosting reportages and articles by Avvenire, Tv2000, Radio InBlu and releases from Agenzia Sir, thus implementing that “synergism” that has always been the distinguishing feature of all those media that hinge around the Italian Bishops’ Conference. The website is edited by the web staff of chiesacattolica.it, whose members are the Office for Social Communication and the Information Service of the Italian Bishops’ Conference, in conjunction with Seed Edizioni Informatiche.
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