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Pope Francis said broadcasting the news as a public service ‘essentially means to seek and promote the truth’ (Supplied)

Media outlets have a responsibility to share the truth, not spread ideologies, Pope Francis said at the weekend. Source: Catholic Review.

The Pope told employees of the Italian state broadcasting corporation, RAI, that their work should be “a response to the needs of citizens,” and he encouraged them to serve the common good “with a spirit of universal openness”.

Meeting employees and their family members in the Vatican audience hall, Pope Francis said broadcasting the news as a public service “essentially means to seek and promote the truth, the whole truth” by “countering the spread of fake news” and “deceitful” efforts to spread ideologies.

“Truth is one,” he said, “it is harmonious, it cannot be divided with self-interest.”

The Pope asked the RAI broadcasters to provide people with correct information “transmitted without prejudice” by ensuring a “pluralism that respects different opinions and sources”.

He told them to engage with a variety of voices by “cultivating dialogue” and listening to others.

Too often, he said, people appear to be listening while they really are just preparing a response, “but to think of my position without receiving (the position) of others is not true dialogue”.

Pope Francis also discussed the RAI networks’ fictional series, cultural programming, sporting events, and children’s shows.

“In our age rich in technology but sometimes poor in humanity, it is important to promote the pursuit of beauty,” he said, encouraging the broadcasters to help people find meaning in life by diffusing artistic expression.

And he encouraged them to give voice to “the last, the poorest, the voiceless, the discarded” in their programming.

Communication, he said, “can play a fundamental role in our time in reweaving socially vital values such as citizenship and participation”.

The Pope added that true communication “is always a surprise” that involves “informing and also listening, with respect and humility.”


Pope asks broadcasters to share the truth, not spread ideology (By Justin McLellan, CNS via Catholic Review