Papal coverage reveals some TV people’s limitations | Inquirer Entertainment

Papal coverage reveals some TV people’s limitations

/ 12:39 AM January 24, 2015

From January 15 to 19, Pope Francis visited Manila and Tacloban on a mission of mercy and compassion—first to show his solidarity with the many survivors of Supertyphoon “Yolanda,” and also to get to know and energize the faithful in the only predominantly Catholic country in Asia. That he succeeded most eminently and memorably is a tribute, not just to his radiant goodness and charisma, but also in part to the way that constant radio-TV coverage brought the pilgrim Pope into the hearths and hearts of listeners and viewers all over the land.

To start with, the stage was set by way of many religious documentaries and video biographies of Pope Francis that helped viewers understand him, both as person and pontiff. In addition, when he finally arrived, priests, nuns and religious analysts were constantly interviewed, to make the issues and problems he brought up even clearer.

Unfortunately, the presence of all these “experts” made some radio-TV people feel overly secure, and some of them didn’t do their share by way of preparing themselves for the all-important task of covering the key event. They thought that the experts would take care of the “heavy” stuff—not realizing that the efficacy of the resource people’s answers would be limited by the questions that TV people asked them.


To make things worse, some interviewers and anchors felt that they were doing their job, when all they were actually contributing was an “appropriately” solemn mien, and an inordinate interest in traffic trivia—!


To be fair, they may have wanted to inform people where they could get a good view of the traveling pontiff—but, couldn’t they have done that and discussed the issues he raised, as well?

Some TV people’s misplaced priorities got so bad that viewers may have concluded that, when it came to the more meaningful aspects of Pope Francis’ visit—they really had little to say!

A few TV people even got so carried away by the ostensibly spiritual mood of the moment that, as the Pope passed close to their vantage point, they cried out, “Hey, Pope! Pope!”—before they realized what an effrontery that was.

Dear broadcast people, you’re supposed to cover the event, not be a part of it.

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TAGS: broadcast journalism, papal visit, Pope Francis, Television

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