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Media frontiers

newsva_03Pat Coyle and Dermot Roantree of the Jesuit Communication Centre attended a ‘Twitter Masterclass’ last week, given by a social media expert with a name – Christian Payne – that might have come from the pages of Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress. That same day Pope Benedict XVI sent his first tweet, using an iPad, in which he announced that he had launched a new Vatican News website. There is no doubt in the pope’s mind of the importance of social media. Last year he urged priests to blog, and the Vatican has recently launched a YouTube channel, developed apps for the iPhone and the iPad, and used Facebook applications for promoting events. “We are on our way towards an active Internet presence,” says Federico Lombardi SJ, acknowledging that social media is the new communications frontier.