L'Osservatore Romano to Get Major Online Facelift

Vatican Newspaper Website to Make More Articles Freely Available, Embrace Social Media

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L’Osservatore Romano has announced it will launch a radical new online presence from tomorrow — Pope Francis’ birthday — encompassing «more news, more pictures, more sharing through social networks.”

“Above all, editions of the Vatican-printed newspaper will be freely accessible, renewing and increasing the information on offer,” writes Piero di Domenicantonio, a journalist with the newspaper, in tomorrow’s edition.

The redesign was carried out in collaboration with the Pontifical Council for Social Communications and, for the technical part, the Spanish Agency 101.

“With innovative graphics and with a substantial improvement to accessibility, the new site marks a turning point in the diffusion of the newspaper,” Domenicantonio writes. All seven language editions will have «no cost, no registration procedure,» and the ability to view the articles «not only on your computer screen, but also smartphones and tablets, all at the same time they come off the Vatican presses.”

The semi-official Vatican newspaper aims to offer “everyone the opportunity to have timely access to first-hand information on the activities of the Pope and the Holy See.”

Translated into seven languages, the site’s pages will report summaries of speeches, interventions and papal documents, the newspapaer says, along with reflections and contributions on the main current international, cultural and religious events.

The paper also says it will increase its social networking capability. Each page will be “easily shared” through Twitter and Facebook, and a “stream of data” will also enable the real-time exchange of information between the information portal of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications (www.news.va) and the website of the newspaper and vice versa, the paper said.

L’Osservatore Romano calls it a “new adventure” into the digital world, one in which readers will be able to “freely give their support” through a donations page, but also through sharing what the mission of the Vatican newspaper has always been: “to combine communication and communion.”

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