Pope Francis calls for 'truthful' journalism

ANI | Updated: Jan 25, 2018 03:27 IST

Vatican City [Vatican City], Jan 25 (ANI): Pope Francis on Wednesday urged journalists across the world to rediscover the "dignity of journalism" and shun reporting of fake news, calling it as "evil".

In his annual social communications message, the pope said, "In today's fast-paced information age, I call for a shared commitment to rediscover the "dignity of journalism" and for reporters to speak the truth with a journalism that is "truthful and opposed to falsehoods, rhetorical slogans, and sensational headlines. Fake news is evil."

The pontiff mentioned that fake news, is a "politically or economically motivated disinformation", with lots of sensations which give journalism a bad name, The New York Times reported.

The pope also stated that fake news is not good for a free press and does not suit the needs of the population. He refrained to mention the political leaders, who have often discredited journalists and reporters for their inconvenient and false reporting.

Pope Francis stressed that the key to achieving good journalism is providing authentic and complete information, promoting goodness and generating trust.

"Informing others means forming others. it means being in touch with people's lives. That is why ensuring the accuracy of sources and protecting communication are real means of promoting goodness, generating trust, and opening the way to communion and peace," he said.

The pontiff reiterated that social media were the original sources of spreading fake news and called for combatting of such news as soon as possible and take action against such people.

"Fake news often goes viral. It is spreading so fast that it is hard to stop, not because of the sense of sharing that inspires the social media, but because it appeals to the insatiable greed so easily aroused in human beings," Pope Francis added.

He also praised educational programs, regulatory efforts and social media companies' efforts in identifying the source of fake news and verifying personal identities "concealed behind millions of digital profiles." (ANI)