Arlyn G. RiskindDirector, Public Affairs and Public Information202-534-1104 [email protected]

Newswise — Washington, DC (February 28, 2013) — All eyes are now on the Catholic Church as its leaders convene the Conclave. Media-driven speculation over who will be the new pope has already begun. Even the bookies in Las Vegas are taking bets on who might be elected. How will this speculation help or hurt the election process?

From the private nature of the election, to the symbolic white smoke once the decision is made, the process of electing a new pope contains a variety of rituals. How important are these rituals and what do they symbolize?

Members of The National Communication Association who study spiritual communication can provide insight into the following:

•What will be the legacy of Pope Benedict XVI?•Do people care about the process of electing a new pope?•How will this selection of a new pope be different from years past?•How does media speculation help or hurt the process of electing a new pope?•What should people look for in statements and speeches from the church and the new pope?

WHO:Brian T. Kaylor, Ph.D.Department of Communication Studies, James Madison UniversityHis research focuses on religious-political rhetoric and media depictions of religion.

Jon P. Radwan, Ph.D.Department of Communication and the Arts, Seton Hall UniversityHe studies papal rhetoric on interpersonal relationships, including marriage and family issues.

CONTACT: To schedule an interview with an expert, please contact Arlyn G. Riskind at [email protected] or 202-534-1104.


About The National Communication AssociationThe National Communication Association (NCA) advances communication as the discipline that studies all forms, modes, media and consequences of communication through humanistic, social scientific, and aesthetic inquiry. The NCA serves the scholars, teachers, and practitioners who are its members by enabling and supporting their professional interests in research and teaching. Dedicated to fostering and promoting free and ethical communication, the NCA promotes the widespread appreciation of the importance of communication in public and private life, the application of competent communication to improve the quality of human life and relationships, and the use of knowledge about communication to solve human problems.

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