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Head of Vatican Radio Discusses Radio’s Future in Italy

Viganò answered that radio seems destined for such an evolution, but since the change is not compulsory, the digitalization of radio probably proceeds less quickly

VATICAN CITY — I present to you some questions and answers (since topics include both radio and TV) from an interview by of Monsignor Dario Edoardo Viganò, Prefect of the Secretariat for Communication of the Holy See, about the future course of Vatican Radio. This is from a translation of course and you are welcome to read the entire interview here.

Monsignor Viganò was asked about what can be deduced from Vatican Radio’s recent initiatives: The decommissioning of medium wave systems and the increase in emphasis on the web, DAB+ and DTT. Does the Monsignor agree that the future of radio will be IP in the long term and hybrid (FM / IP / DAB + / DTT) in the medium? “I think it is difficult to make clear predictions. However, it is clear that the future of radio will be played more and more in the digital environment,” he said. “Everything is connected now: from buildings to cars. And the radio medium cannot remain on the margins of this process that has already caused the dissolution of traditional borders between different media.”

Analysts estimate the life of FM in Italy in 15 years at most. But there will not be a switch-off, but a natural death…when the operating costs will no longer be justified by the potential of the users. Is it true, do you think?” asked Newslinet. Viganò answered that radio seems destined for such an evolution, but since the change is not compulsory in nature, the digitalization of radio probably proceeds less quickly. He said that Vatican Radio will be present on the DAB+ platform — that it will continue to maintain a presence on terrestrial digital even while providing content for the web. Vatican radio also believes that FM has an important value, especially in the locality.

Newslinet asked the Monsignor about his predictions for the short term (5 years) as well as 10 years out. “…I find it hard to see a big difference between the short and the long term. The impression is that the different distribution platforms are destined to coexist… for several decades in line with the evolution of the methods of use in different geographical contexts. If we look at Italy, FM will continue its life parallel to the maturation of the DAB +, the consolidation of the DTT and the affirmation of the IP,” he answered. “So we can talk about an increasingly hybrid and multi-platform radio that is in close relationship with the social networks and within a strategy based on the complementarity of transmission technologies.”