Latin skills give journalist a papal scoop
Journalist of the week is Giovanna Chirri of Italian news agency Ansa, who scooped everyone on Monday morning by being proficient at one vital skill if you’re on the Vatican beat – Latin aural comprehension.
When the Pope announced he would be stepping down – the first pope to do so in almost 600 years – he did so in Latin.
There were four other journalists in the room for what was a routine canonisation meeting, but it was Chirri who sent the news to her agency first, giving Ansa the world exclusive.
At 11.46am Italian time, the words “Papa Lascia Pontificato Dal 28/2” – the Pope is leaving the papacy on February 28th– hit the wires. In today’s fast-paced online news environment, scoops last for literally a minute. Reuters followed with a flash at 11.47 am, citing Ansa as its source.
“When Pope announced he was resigning, I felt weak at the knees,” Chirri later tweeted.