DIREZIONE GENERALE OPERE DON BOSCO
Via della Pisana, 1111 P. 18333 - 00163 ROMA - Tel. 06.656.121 Fax: 06.65612556 - www.sdb.org
Dicastero per la Comunicazione Sociale: Dicasterocs@gmail.com; Bollettino Salesiano: email@example.com
SALESIAN BULLETIN INTERNATIONAL MEETING
Rome, Italy, May 2012
The Salesian Bulletin in Argentina
Developments in recent years
- Towards the end of 1999 the then Editor of the Salesian Bulletin, Fr Juan Grehan, began to urge renewal of the Argentinian edition of the Bulletin in response to the process begun by Fr Juan Vecchi and also to the needs that today's media indicate.
- Because of this, the provincials from Argentina, decided as a group to set up an Editorial Council involving a Salesian from each of the then five provinces of Argentina. This council began to meet periodically to give some direction to the editorial processes of the SB. However it was at the beginning of 2005 that the overall structure of the SB was reorganized moving from an Editorial council to an Administrative Council (AC), and by appointing an Editor-in-chief, a Salesian, and an Executive editor, who could be lay or Salesian, and who would look after the daily running of the SB. Both editors were part of the Editorial council and linked with someone in each province.
The importance of this Administrative and organizational council
- The Administrative Council began work by providing the SB with the equipment it needed to function. And so between June 2005 and October 2006 it drew up Statutes and an Editorial Policy which were then approved by the joint council of Provincials of Argentina (JIAR).
- Currently the SC Delegate for each province in Argentina take part in the AC regular meetings of this council, which analyzes content, writers, images, design, administration, finance and distribution of the SB. From 2007 a wider group was organized to involve the different branches of the SF (FMA, Sal Coops and Past Pupils) in the AC.
- Financing of the SB in its various formats and in all aspects, is initially the responsibility of the SB itself. The provinces, themselves or with help from the Rector Major, at well-defined moments when self-financing has not been able to cover everything, have offered extraordinary support.
- Also, the AC holds an annual meeting with the provincials and provincial councils, since the combined council of provincials is the body upon which the SB depends directly.
- In 2008 and the years that followed, the Editor-in-chief and/or the Executive Editor have taken part in Rectors meetings in the provinces to present the editorial features of the SB and to accompany pastoral processes in these provinces.
- The wealth of the work carried out by the AC is based on the confidence and transparency with which the various topics are tackled and which give life to the Salesian Bulletin, in editorial terms – then this gives rise to choice of photos which are in sync with the ideas expressed in the articles - and for administration, finance and distribution.
- The fact that it is a national magazine for a country where the Salesian presence is organized into two provinces means that the members of the AC need to keep a national perspective in topics, content and information, going beyond a limited tied to their province of origin, a view that might be measured, for example by a concern for the number of times the province or its works appear in the Bulletin. A national viewpoint requires that content and information is seen rather as an expression of the Salesian presence in the country, regardless of where they come from.
The SB: editorial policy, print-run and other products
- The collegial nature of the Admin Council becomes, then, a team that works on the Salesian Bulletin each day, and is made up, in fact, of younger people. They are responsible for the various formats of the Salesian Bulletin and everything to do with its distribution, administration and financing.
- The editorial policy is based on two fundamentals: the first is the belief that the Salesian Bulletin is, as Fr Viganó put it:“A Salesian outlook on the world and a view into the Salesian world” and the second is the central place given to the life of the youngin its message, meaning that the topics which the SB deals with have the lives of the young as their focus, regardless of whether they are the ones to whom the SB as a magazine is directed or not .
- The printed format of the SB: Since 2005 the traditional format has had a more dynamic and fresh appearance in layout, and from year to year various details have been modified that renew this without losing its essence. There has also been an effort to involve writers who can give a distinctive focus to the different topics, and who are able to reflect the various geographical and cultural regions of Argentina. This, however, without losing out on the fact that the SB is but one magazine and the main issue is to throw light on the various situations of the young and reflect the life of Don Bosco's work in Argentina and the world.
- The current monthly print run is 43,000. 38,500 are sent to Salesian communities who then distribute them locally to those who ask and who have a subscription; and 4,200 are also mailed out to subscribers. Despite having doubled the number of subscribers (from 1700 in 2005 to 4200 in 2012) and the acceptance the magazine finds amongst readers in our works, we note a slight decrease in the number of copies asked for by Houses: over the period 2005 – 2012 the number has gone down from 42,500 to 38,500.
- As already noted in a number of documents of the Congregation, this could be due to the low profile that social communication has in Salesian communities; the SB as a communications tool cannot avoid this circumstance.
- Other graphic products of the SB: With a view to supporting Don Bosco's Work and also supporting its own financing , since 2005 we have added four calendars and a diary. The calendars also have a reflective style in terms of the pics and the wording used in them. The same goes for the “Agenda Don Bosco”, of universal character, that is to say that it is not only for members of the Salesian Family. Both products, calendars and diaries are seen as elements of evangelization, fostering prime values for the lives of the young.
Similarly, since 2008 we have produced a series of items involving the provincial delegates for Youth Ministry, and these promote the spread of the Rector Major's
Web format of the SB
- Put online since the end of 2007 and renewed in 2010 as a Web 2.0 site, the Salesian Bulletin has its own virtual space linked to other web sites in Salesian Argentina, both at province and national level. these links are in agreement with the other sites indicated in order to offer multiple services and remain present and interactive in an orderly way. The same thing happens with social networks as we develop a comprehensive plan across various sectors.
- This way, in www.boletinsalesiano we offer firstly all kinds of information connected with the life of the young, not only for those strictly tied to one or other of our Works but with youth in general. This information comes from all the sources published in different websites of Argentina and the world- church or secular - that has to do with the growth of young people. In keeping with our editorial policy we could say that the SB's web format is part of “a Salesian outlook on the world”, keeping this youth focus always at the centre of things.
- Information concerning Salesian Works and Provinces can be found in province websites www.donboscosur and www.donbosconorte, while the formation area is covered by the Communications Site for Argentina www.donbosco.org.ar, offering all kinds of resources for pastoral activity. Regarding the Missions properly speaking, in the www.obradedonbosco portal one can find the various projects and enterprises that the Mission and Development Office and project offices and carrying out.
- All these sites are connected thus achieving an ongoing interaction which is constantly enriched, thanks to daily updates on the five web sites.
Audiovisual format of the SB
- Given the good acceptance that the graphic aspect of the SB has had and also because of various requests from one or other place, beginning from 2009 a number of audiovisual products have been carried out to give a wider spread to the Work in Argentina.
- Between June and November 2009, as an early preparation for the journey of the Don Bosco Casket through Argentina, 43 audiovisual items covering various places across the country where the Casket would pass, were prepared and put on Youtube where they have received a thousand or more viewers. This first step was financed by the Turin-based PDO, Missioni Don Bosco.
- In 2010, we continued with the task of involving the National PDO in producing various support materials for provinces concerning the Rector Major's Strenna. Between 2010 and 2011 we produced 23 audiovisual items of the same quality on works and activities throughout Salesian Argentina. We can say that just as the Web has shown “a Salesian outlook on the world”, the audiovisual edition for now fundamentally tries to be a “view into the Salesian world”.
- Distribution of this format has been mainly through Youtube and its SB channel and over these last three years we have seen 80,000 copies made of the videos available there.
The SB as part of the Salesian Social Communication System (SSCS), Overall Province Planning (OPP) and the Province Social Communication Plan (PSCP)
- Involvement of Delegates in theAC facilitates more direct communication with each province. When the new structure emerged in January 2010 the OPPs were reviewed.
- These two years of the SB since then have been led by the National Communications Team which also involves the Don Bosco Graphics Network, which aims to coordinate the more than 35 Salesian presences in the field of graphic communications in Argentina. This collaboration has resulted in 3 videos on Strennas for 2010 an 2011, e re-doing of the Colección Canciones, made up of 11 CDs of hymns composed by Fr. Eduardo Meana, and other graphics products (flyers, pamphlets and pics), for the Strennas for 2010 and 2011.
- The appearance of the new SSCS allowed us to deal with and understand the criteria and opportunities for choosing both content and approach regarding processes for producing the SB. Reflection on the part of some Council members has helped update approaches to the publication in some areas.
- The direction which the SSCS the SB with regard to its place in the broader scheme of things has allowed us to continue presenting the need for quality communication and information, both internally and for the wider spread of Salesian influence in Argentina.
- Although not explicitly stated in the PSCPs of the North and South Argentine provinces (given their recent creation they are still developing such tools), a systematic participation in various aspects of the daily running of the SB and the opportunity for regular meetings with Provincial bodies has meant that the SB is recognised as one of the essential channels of internal institutional communication for the Salesian presence in Argentina. This is the case such that when there are national projects involving both provinces, publishing them in the SB is considered to be fundamental to strengthening awareness about them in both provinces. We maintain that when it comes to drawing up the PSCP and OPP, this dimension of institutional communication will take on even greater relevance.
- For the moment we have not succeeded in establishing strategies and policies with the provincials and their councils for a wider distribution of the SB, which would see an increase in the number of copies printed and distributed through the Houses, and provincial centres.
- We also see the need to improve the current form of distribution which depends mainly on copies freely requested by Houses. We see a constant decrease in the number of such requests from Houses.
- We need to draw up a sustained plan for the web and digital format and dedicate time and specific individuals to this format.
- As far as the video format is concerned, we would like to find other channels for spreading the material we produce.
- Continue with sensitizing the works and province centres to the importance of SC in the Salesian mission and the use of the SB as a tool for spreading the institution's impact.
- Focus on the internal and external functioning of the Salesian Bulletin so that the various formats: print, web, audiovisual, etc, “are all (seen as) the Salesian Bulletin”.