Franciscan Father Pierbattista Pizzaballa, the Franciscan Custos of the Holy Land, oversaw the creation of a new website for the Franciscan Media Center of the Custody of the Holy Land. Stefania Sboarina, director of Franciscan Media Center, agreed to answer a few questions from The Catholic Spirit about the website, http://www.fmc-terrasanta.org.
Why did you create the website?
We decided to create the website in order to give a greater spread to video news we produce, that until this time had been shared mainly through television. Thanks to the site we have now the opportunity to share the news in real time and daily, and also to reach people speaking many different languages: Italian, English, French, Portoguese, Spanish and Arabic.
How long did it take and who was involved in its development?
It took about a year to design and develop the website, created in collaboration between people working for FMC in Jerusalem and an Italian company
When did you launch the website?
The website was launched just before Palm Sunday, March 30.
What are the site’s main features? Is there anything on the site to which you wish to call particular attention?
In the website you can find all the video news we produce daily, but not only that. There are also special videos dedicated to the holy places and their history, interviews with the Custos of the Holy Land and other personalities and the opportunity to watch live-streaming of some of the events happening in the Holy Land.
The site focuses on videos; why videos rather than written articles?
Video images give a chance to be really involved with the holy places, to see them from afar. It is an opportunity that we want to offer to those who cannot come here but also to all the pilgrims who were in the Holy Land and want to see again the places they have visited
What do you hope to accomplish with this website?
We hope to introduce as many people as possible to the holy places, to the role and importance of the Custody and to the lives of Christians in the Holy Land.
What has been the response so far?
Very good! In less than three months we had about 150,000 visits to our website, and many people have contacted us to thank us for our work.
See the Holy Land
Watch live videos from the Holy Land on the new website of the Franciscan Media Center of the Custody of the Holy Land at http://www.fmc-terrasanta.org.