Vatican conference for Catholic press to examine how to cover controversy

The Pontifical Council for Social Communications (PCCS) has organized a conference to examine the role of the Catholic press in today's world. Among the themes to be addressed is the Catholic media response to controversy within the Church.

Over the weekend, the Vatican's L'Osservatore Romano (LOR) newspaper announced the Oct. 4-7 conference, which will focus on the comparison between traditional and new Catholic media.

According to the article and a program available on the PCCS website, each of the first three days of the conference will address a different aspect of the Catholic media presence around the globe.

The first day's panel and separate group discussions will focus on the challenges and opportunities offered to Catholic press in today's world. Then on Oct. 5, after a morning of looking at how Catholic media contribute to the public forum, culture and the life of the Church, conference participants will examine how to cover controversy in the Church.

A panel composed of a blogger, a Church spokesperson, a theologian, a sociologist and a secular journalist will take a look at the theme "Ecclesial Communion and Controversies. Freedom of Expression and the Truth of the Church." The names of the panel contributors have not yet been announced.

After the panel weighs in, press participants will divide into groups by languages to examine the central questions of whether or not Catholic press should avoid certain topics, how it should "speak of controversial issues and discuss the idea of giving "a voice to dissent."

A morning panel on the third day will look at economics, journalistic challenges, interactivity, language and the "digital divide," and seeking to be "effectively present" in the digital world. Later in the day, participants will examine successful Catholic media ventures and look at how they can collaborate and seek support.

The final day, Oct. 7, will be devoted to examining the results of groups discussions from the first three days.

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