By BroadCasting & Cable Staff -- Broadcasting & Cable, 4/10/2005 8:00:00 PM
“The mass media can and must promote justice and solidarity according to an organic and correct vision of human development by reporting events accurately and truthfully, analyzing situations and problems completely, and providing a forum for different opinions. An authentically ethical approach to using the powerful communication media must be situated within the context of a mature exercise of freedom and responsibility, founded upon the supreme criteria of truth and justice.”
A “final word” from a Jan. 24 letter issued by Pope John Paul II shortly before his death. The apostolic letter “to those responsible for communications” was to commemorate the Feast of Saint Francis DeSales, the patron saint of journalists, as noted on B&C's Web site.
“What a difference a quarter-century makes. The first papal death in the age of 24-hour cable news and minute-by-minute Internet updates has become an epic media event, focusing unprecedented attention on centuries-old rituals. Never before has live television shown the announcement of a pope's death, or his body being borne into St. Peter's Basilica, all juxtaposed with scenes of grief and reflection from around the world.”
The Philadelphia Inquirer's Ken Dilanian
“It strikes me that this is the story of the moment. What cable does and ought to do is cover it as completely as we can.”
CNN anchor Aaron Brown, in Rome on assignment for the funeral of Pope John Paul II, quoted in the Detroit Free Press
“The pope's passing defines Big Story—a religious icon who left the world a changed place is about to be replaced—but the pace of the story has left 24-hour news channels, which did not exist the last time the Vatican chose a new leader nearly 27 years ago, searching for ways to fill all that airtime.”
The New York Times' David Carr
“I want to take you back to what happened here a little while ago. As way of explanation, I am very sorry, which is all I can say except that we were listening to Italian television.”
Fox News anchor Shepard Smith, apologizing for prematurely announcing the death of the pope on April 1, noted in The Baltimore Sun
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