TV coverage of Pope Francis election
There are few elections that draw as much international attention as for a new Supreme Pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church. Television coverage of the latest papal selection was on par – if not better – than any other major election. The networks brought out all the bells and whistles, literately covering every possible angle.
With so many TV stations covering the event live over a number of hours, one could channel surf at leisure to find the best reporting. So, who had the best coverage of the selection of Pope Francis?
With their massive budget and years of experience, the BBC usually has the edge when it comes to coverage royal events. Alas, this time – From Monday until Wednesday, March 13, 2013 – they were outdone by many other stations. The commentary was appropriately courteous but lacked depth of information. Many other stations, including ABC, CBS and NBC, did better with the reporting.
The channel that impressed most with coverage of the papal election: CNN. All the heavyweight presenters were there and, it seemed, well briefed and at the right place at the right time. CNN also had impressive special effects and virtual guided tours to put the viewer fully in the picture. Job well done!
The papal conclave chose Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio as the 266th pope. The cardinal chose to be called Pope Francis, in honour of Saint Francis of Assisi. It was the first time a pope has taken that name. Saint Francis was the son of a wealthy cloth merchant but chose to live in poverty to work amongst the followers of the church. The new pope is also known to be extremely frugal, cooks his own food and takes the bus to the office – see 14 facts about Pope Francis.
He followed up Pope Benedict XVI, the first pope to resign since Pope Gregory XII in 1415, and the first to do so on his own initiative since Pope Celestine V in 1294.
Pope Francis is the first Jesuit priest, the first Argentinian and first from South America to have been chosen pope; indeed, he is the first pope from outside Europe since Gregory III in the 8th century.