Pope: ANSA scoop becomes global headline news in seconds

Int'l newsrooms congratulate Vatican reporter Giovanna Chirri

11 February, 20:06

(ANSAmed) - ROME, FEBRUARY 11 - ANSA news agency's Vatican reporter Giovanna Chirri's worldwide scoop went out on the wire at 11:46am on Monday: 'Pope to resign as of 2/28'.

Before Vatican spokesperson Father Federico Lombardi even had time to confirm the news, Reuters and Agence France Presse news agencies sent it out at 11:47am and 11.53am respectively, citing ANSA as their source.

After that the news breaks all over television, from CNN to Al Arabiya, from the BBC to Sky News, followed by newspaper websites from the New York Times to the Washington Post, to European and South American dailies.

In real time, the news traveled on Arab media, with Al Jazeera sending it out on their red ticker tape. The newsflash made it to the front pages in Russia - except for official government outfit Rossiskaya Gazeta - while China, where religion is discriminated against and relations between Beijing and the Holy See remain tense, New China news agency was the only one to give the report in a few terse lines.

The German government prefaced every comment by citing ANSA as its source. ''You can't comment an item this big without verifying it with the appropriate sources,'' said spokesperson Steffen Seibert, only to add a few minutes later that the Angela Merkel administration is ''moved and dismayed''. Meanwhile, the work that goes into all great occasions began in newsrooms around the world: research, analysis, profiles, comments, reactions, anecdotes, projections. The French press called it a ''historic day'', the Spanish one mentioned the pope's ''failing strength'', the Germans reported on ''our'' Benedict XVI.

All of which was accelerated and multiplied on social media, where the pope's decision trended worldwide in record time. On Twitter, colleagues from around the world congratulated ANSA and Giovanna Chirri on her historic scoop and on her knowledge of Latin. ''The ANSA journo who broke news on pope resignation heard Benedict XVI read news to cardinals in LATIN and understood what he said. Brava!'', tweeted New York Times Rome bureau chief Rachel Donadio. While Washington star journalist Ryan Lizza simply wrote: ''#FF @GiovanniChirri''. (ANSAmed).