The Catholic and Catholic-oriented Latin America Networks- the largest group in the world – have persevered in their work and, in spite of the difficulties, have developed and fulfill a very important service for the Particular Churches and Evangelization of culture.
At the same time, they suffer from some weaknesses, both the networks as well as the producers and the Catholic audiovisual production in general. According to each case, there are financial, organizational, technical, technological updating, quality of production and other problems that hinder their development and access to a wider public.
Greater excellence and variety in the quality of programming is one of the elements to give a greater impact on the results of the channels.
For their part, both experienced producers and young people have significant difficulties in finding a place to develop in the world of Catholic media.
It is necessary to generate tools of cooperation and encouragement to strengthen the different actors in the world of production and distribution of Catholic audiovisual content.
Due to the nature of these media, it is difficult to expect them to be fully self-financing. They need, like any non-commercial initiative, support from those who are interested in disseminating these contents and values.
Undoubtedly, other challenges are presented here as well: the need for training, the encouragement of professionalization, and financial support in different ways.
It is urgent to strengthen all these aspects, always based on an integral Christian anthropological vision and on the call of the Church towards Mission, in unity with the Particular Church and avoiding temptations such as the copying of models that end up putting the search for funds before Evangelization.
The concern to support and develop the world of audiovisual evangelization has been reflected in successive projects.
BNC, Buena Nueva Comunicación, a Non-Profit Civil Association which aims to spread the Gospel by audiovisual evangelization dates back to 1965. In its history it has been involved and has participated systematically in entities that have marked the history of Catholic audiovisual media such as Lumen 2000, Telcat, Ocic (later Signis), always seeking to build from ecclesial spaces. This concern also generated great coincidences with CRTN, Catholic Radio and Television Network, with current headquarters in Germany and were always placed under the monitoring of CAMECO, Catholic Media Council, the Pontifical Council for Communications as well as CELAM and the local Church.
In this way, several initiatives that are antecedents and foundational experiences of this project took shape, such as the international co-production “Testigos”, the international Catholic TV portal “www.crtn.org” and the research “Los Canales Católicos de Hispanoamérica”
The International Service for Catholic Television Producers and Networks seeks to promote the growth of the evangelizing task through audiovisual media (television, video, film and internet).
That is why its actions are: to provide quality programming to networks, to promote production and co-productions, and to encourage and articulate exchange and cooperation.
Training, advice and participation in international media associations, as well as research and dissemination of knowledge and information in this area, are among the activities it undertakes to serve the greater growth and professionalization of pastoral agents working in the audiovisual media.
Within the framework of SIPCATV, the Fund to Stimulate Quality Audiovisual Production is also being developed, aimed at strengthening producers and promoting co-production between Channels and producers.
Sipcatv brings its structure and contacts of almost 9 years of operation, adding the experiences of BNC and CRTN that have been serving the Church in America and Europe (respectively) for more than 30 years.
Thus SIPCATV is an animator that coordinates the participation of networks and producers, manages a structure of collection, purchase and distribution of programs, including technical, computer, quality and legal aspects.
Buena Nueva Comunicación, as responsible for SIPCATV, reports to the following entities: Aid agencies that participate and will participate as subsidies are obtained and CAMECO (Catholic Media Council) that acts as an expert control entity, submitting plans and budgets for evaluation and corresponding reports. CELAM DECOS and the Pontifical Council for Social Communications receive copies of the reports systematically.
This Service in no way replaces and/or competes with the activity of other producers or distributors of audiovisual content, nor with the pastoral animation proper to the Church at its various levels, nor with Church entities and associations that gather or promote the work of Catholic Communicators. On the contrary, SIPCATV seeks in a fraternal way to strengthen each and every one of those who are working in the field of audiovisual evangelization, seeking communion and cooperation. In everything, SIPCATV hopes to be faithful to the call that the Church makes to us in The Aparecida Document and through each pastoral orientation of Pope Francis and our Bishops.