Basilica News Agency Four Years Since Setting Up

Romanian Orthodox Church

On 16 June 2012, Basilica News Agency of the Romanian Patriarchate celebrates four years of existence.

The role of Basilica News Agency of the Romanian Patriarchate is to present, as news and press documents the institutions, the activity and attitudes of the Romanian Orthodox Church on various topical issues. The selection and systematisation of the news is done in accordance with the principles of the Christian morals and of the norms of journalistic deontology.

The News Agency bases its activity on the original vocation of the Church to convey the Good News of the salvation in Christ to the world. In a society dominated by communication, over-information, over-production and temptation to over-consume, the religious information has the role to remind the people that they can become better and be happier not only by increasing the volume of information but also by assuming informational discernment in order to understand how the presence of the divine grace and human freedom is mixed in the human life.

The agency was set up at the initiative, with the blessing and care of His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel, at the feast of Saint Dimitrios the New, Protector of Bucharest, 27 October 2007, as part of Basilica Press Centre of the Romanian Patriarchate. The official launching of Basilica News Agency took place on 16 June 2008, at the feast of the Holy Trinity, with the motto: The Good News Announced to All People”. The news and information are organised as e-mails on web site basilica.ro and comprise data referring to the church life in the country and abroad: the Patriarch’s activity, decisions of the Holy Synod, activity developed in eparchies, monasteries and parishes, in theological schools and religious associations, the dialogue of the Church with society, inter-orthodox co-operation, inter-confessional and inter-religious activity.

On 16 June 2008, feast of the Holy Trinity, the first saint patron of Basilica Press Centre, the web site basilica.ro of the Romanian Patriarchate was launched after the celebration of the Te Deum in “Europa Christiana” room of the Patriarchate Palace, in the presence of His Beatitude Daniel, Patriarch of Romania, of His Grace Ciprian Campineanul, Assistant Bishop to the Patriarch, of the members of the Standing Meeting of the Church National Council, of the professors of the “Patriarch Justinian” Faculty of Orthodox Theology of Bucharest, of the parish priests of the patriarchal chapels of Bucharest and of the employees of Basilica Press Centre.

Since that day till today, Basilica News Agency has published every day on web site basilica.ro news of the life of the eparchies of the Romanian Orthodox Church. Thus, the news is presented both in the Romanian interface, and in English, so that the information may be available to the internet users both from the country and from abroad. The news is classified in various categories, such as News from the country, Romanian Orthodox Diaspora, Orthodoxy in the world, Christian World Maps and Religious Dialogue, but there are also some special sections for the communiqués of the Romanian Patriarchate, Homage Year, News from the Patriarchate and activity of the Patriarch of Romania, Cathedral for the Nation’s Salvation, Daily Synaxes, Anniversaries and Commemorations, as well as Book Reviews.

From 30 September 2010, Basilica News Agency of the Romanian Patriarchate has had a new interface, with a special graphic aspect and improved structure for presenting the information. The web site page opens with four main pieces of news, the first of them with a representative photograph, and the main series of 50 pieces of news. A section entitled News of the Patriarchate was also drafted, presenting the news related to the activity of the Patriarch of Romania and of the Patriarchal Administration.

During the four years of the activity of the News Agency of the Romanian Patriarchate those who accessed the web site basilica.ro witnessed the most important events of the life of the Romanian Orthodox Church both in the country and abroad.

From 16 June 2008 till today, the web site basilica.ro has increased the number of press news published every day. If we consult the archives of Basilica News Agency we identify over 30,000 press materials, including here the period 27 October – 16 June 2008, when the news published by the web site radiotrinitas.ro were transferred into the archives, and from 16 June 2008 till 16 June 2012 we have about 26,000 pieces of news published. Here is the evolution of the news of the web site basilica.ro of the News Agency of the Romanian Patriarchate:

As one can see in the graphic above, the number of information offered by Basilica News Agency to the visitors of basilica.ro web site increased permanently. At the same time with the number of news, that of the visitors of web site basilica.ro increased too, today exceeding 3,500,000 visitors who consulted the web site from 6500 cities from 160 countries during its four years of activity:

For the Romanians living in Diaspora, the web site basilica.ro of the News Agency of the Romanian Patriarchate is the main source of information concerning the news about the Romanian Patriarchate both from the country and from abroad. So, more and more Romanians from abroad read the news of Basilica Agency wishing to be abreast with the life of the Romanian Orthodox Church.

Yet, most of the visitors of the web site basilica.ro are from Romania, especially from Bucharest, where lots of young and middle aged people have access to internet and get the religious information from Basilica News Agency. At the same time, during its four years of activity Basilica News Agency has become an authorised source of information concerning the activity of the Romanian Orthodox Church for the laic mass media of Bucharest and of the whole country. Today, the majority of the press offices of the televisions, radios, central and local newspapers, quote the News Agency of the Romanian Patriarchate when they publish communiqués or press news about the activity of the Romanian Patriarchate.

Today, after four years of activity, Basilica is a permanent kaleidoscope of the daily church life, as His Beatitude Daniel, Patriarch of the Romanian Orthodox Church said in the message addressed at the feast of the Most Holy Trinity, protector of Basilica Press Centre of the Romanian Patriarchate, on 16 June 2011.

Basilica News Agency is a point of convergence of the other four branches of Basilica Press Centre (Trinitas Radio, Trinitas TV, Lumina publications and the Press Office), which combines image, sound and written words. Basilica.ro web site enables the audience far from radio, television of newspapers, in general from Romania, to visualise the news.

Ever since the setting up of Basilica News agency till today, its editorial policy observed the urge of His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel when the web site basilica.ro was launched, who clearly showed that the News Agency was not going to compete with other similar institutions, but only to bring joy where it was sadness and communion where it was loneliness: “Basilica News Agency and all its branches (of Basilica Press Centre) does not compete with anybody in this world, but it can help everybody who is willing to be saved. It does not compete with other televisions, or newspapers, because we are not interested in competition but in communion, not in competition and worldly power, but to bring joy where it is sadness, and communion where it is much loneliness”, the Patriarch of Romanian said.

The main purpose of the Agency is to reflect reality as seen by the ecclesiastic staff at all levels: hierarchy, clergy, monastic life and laics.

Today, the News Agency of the Romanian Patriarchate is the most important platform of information in the virtual space concerning the news on the activity of the Romanian Orthodox Church in the country and abroad, of the deaneries, parishes and monasteries of the Romanian Patriarchate.

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