Pope Francis is encouraging free and humble journalism that does not indulge in selling the “rotten food of misinformation” but instead offers the healthy bread of truth and goodness. Source: Vatican News.
“I therefore urge you to work according to truth and justice, so that communication is truly an instrument for building, not for destroying; for meeting, not for clashing; for dialoguing, not for monologising; for orienting, not for disorienting; for understanding, not for misunderstanding; for walking in peace, not for sowing hatred; for giving a voice to those who have no voice, not for being a megaphone to those who shout louder,” the Pope told some 400 journalists of the Foreign Press Association of Italy on Saturday.
Pope Francis expressed his and the Church’s esteem for their precious work, saying it “contributes to the search for the truth, and only the truth makes us free.”
Underscoring humility as the fundamental element of their profession, the Argentine Pope said that the search for truth entails many difficulties and much humility.
The presumption of already knowing everything, he said, blocks the search for truth. An article, a tweet or a live report, he said, can do good but also evil to others and sometimes to entire communities if one is not careful and scrupulous.
Noting that certain “screaming” headlines can create a false representation of reality, he urged journalists to resist the temptation to publish news that has not been sufficiently verified.
Instead, he said, the humble journalist tries to know the facts correctly and entirely before telling and commenting on them. Such journalism does not feed “the excess of slogans that, instead of setting the thought in motion, cancel it out”.
At a time when many people are spreading fake news, “humility prevents you from selling the rotten food of misinformation and invites you to offer the good bread of truth.”