Papal visit to Scotland to involve estimated 70 journalists

AROUND 70 journalists will be accompanying Pope Benedict XVI, on his visit to Scotland in September.

It prompted special collections throughout Catholic churches in Scotland, on Sunday, to help defray the costs.

The collection, which will be repeated on Sunday, followed a Communications Sunday appeal by Bishop Philip Tartaglia, Bishop-President of the Communications Commission of the Bishops Conference of Scotland.

Said Tartaglia: “We are all hoping and praying for a joyful and happy day. However, no matter how many gather on the day, for the vast majority of people in Scotland and around the world, their experience of the Papal Visit will be through television, newspapers and via the electronic media. The media coverage will play a huge part in deciding how the Papal Visit to Scotland and England is assessed throughout the world.

“The media implications and requirements for the Pope’s visit are massive. An officially accredited media delegation of 70 journalists travels with the Pope wherever he goes. Hundreds of TV, radio and print media journalists from home and abroad will gather in Scotland for the Pope’s visit here.

“These journalists need to be looked after, briefed and given as much background information on the Pope, on the Catholic Church and Catholic community in Scotland past, present and future, on Scotland’s links with the papacy over the centuries, and any other relevant information.

“These media briefings will have print, sound, visual and digital forms. The media office will also need to handle hundreds and eventually thousands of inquiries about media-related matters regarding the Pope’s visit.”

The Bishop of Paisley added that media preparations for the Pope’s visit has been underway for some time, but the Scottish Catholic Media Office “would require a surge of resources, both human and material, in order to meet the exceptional requirements of the Pope’s visit in a professional and efficient way”.