Corrente

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Media reform at the Vatican

WaPo:

The Vatican’s reaction to the leak scandal was not to address its inner flaws but to burnish its outer image.

Enter Twitter and Fox News.

Claire Diaz-Ortiz, Twitter’s liaison to religious institutions, wrote the U.S. Embassy to the Holy See looking for a Vatican contact. Soon after, she and Paul Tighe, the No. 2 official at the church’s social communication department, started talking about the possibilities of a Twitter account for the pope. They racked their brains for the perfect handle, but the Vatican’s main concern, Diaz-Ortiz said, was: “ ‘Is there any chance this account is going to get hacked?’ ”

At about the same time, the Vatican hired away a Fox News reporter. In June, Bertone’s office rang Gregory Burke, a veteran correspondent in Rome and member of Opus Dei, a conservative and influential Catholic lay organization. They wanted him to bring a “common-sense journalistic view of how things are going to play out” to the church, Burke said, adding that they needed someone to “help craft the message.”

Burke, well-liked and respected by reporters, doesn’t look like a Vatican operative. On a rainy afternoon, he showed up late at a restaurant near the Pantheon in a trench coat, swinging a long umbrella. With his thicket of auburn hair and ruddy complexion, he looks more corn- than cannelloni-fed.

“I’m within the 15-minute Roman grace period,” he said in Italian. Burke’s approach to media, like his Italian, bears a strong American accent. “I would love to bring some Roger Ailes into this job,” he said. “The difference is Roger Ailes has a lot of power, and I have very little.”

Well, ya know, humongous and continuing child abuse scandal and coverup.