AP plans extensive coverage as pope begins retirement

Feb. 27, 2013
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Faithful are reflected in the roof of Pope Benedict XVI's pope-mobile as he arrives to celebrate his last general audience in St. Peter's Square, at the Vatican, Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2013. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

Pope Benedict XVI officially enters retirement on Thursday, Feb. 28, the first pontiff to step down in 600 years, and Associated Press journalists from around the globe will be covering his final day in text, photos, video and on social media.
In addition, AP journalists will produce a rolling feed of text and photo reports throughout the day called “Pope Live.” The service, which will be live from 0900 GMT (4 a.m. ET) to 1900 GMT (2 p.m. ET), is intended as a "second-screen” experience to accompany AP’s main coverage.

The content will be arranged in reverse chronological order and topped with the most compelling photos for use on mobile devices, websites and in print. 

“We’re excited to report on this historic event in a way that’s particularly handy for tablet and smartphone users who want to check back through the day for convenient and compelling updates,” said Ted Anthony, the AP editor-at-large overseeing the “Pope Live” coverage.

Other coverage highlights include:

•    AP’s veteran religion reporters -- who boast decades of experience reporting on the papacy -- will cover the scene at the Vatican and events at Castel Gandolfo, the papal retreat where Benedict will head after leaving Rome.

•    AP will provide its customers live high-definition video coverage courtesy of Vatican TV of all events behind Vatican walls and at Castel Gandolfo. In addition, AP video crews will cover events throughout the day, providing online video edits and radio cuts.

•    An interactive about the Vatican and the upcoming election of a new pope includes a timeline of Benedict's life and an analysis of his place in papal history, an explainer of the election process, a profile of Vatican City and a data map showing the world's Roman Catholic population.

•    AP staff will also be posting frequent updates from the main AP Twitter account (https://twitter.com/AP), and will share content on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/APNews) and Google Plus (https://google.com/+AP).

Updates will be displayed in the AP Mobile news app in the compilation labeled “Pope Departs,” found in the Big Stories area. In addition, they will appear on AP’s Big Story microsite: http://bigstory.ap.org

AP's Global Media Services is also providing its global customers a range of broadcast facilities at the Vatican, including live stand-up positions overlooking Saint Peter's Square.

About AP
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Paul Colford
Director of Media Relations
The Associated Press

Erin Madigan White
Media Relations Manager
The Associated Press

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