Pope Francis speaks out against disinformation

(AGI) Vatican  - Addressing the management, journalistsand technical staff of TV 2000 - the television broadcaster ofthe Italian Bishops' Conference -  [...]

Pope Francis speaks out against disinformation
(AGI) Vatican, Dec 15 - Addressing the management, journalistsand technical staff of TV 2000 - the television broadcaster ofthe Italian Bishops' Conference - Pope Francis said thatdisinformation leads people to believe only one part of thetruth. Thanking those present for their honest and moralprofessional efforts, he added that if the sins of media weredisinformation, slander and defamation, the worst wasdisinformation because it means that things are only told byhalves, fostering an inability to judge reality properly. Oftencommunication is dominated by propaganda, ideologies, politicalends or financial and technical control, but "courageousfrankness and freedom are the characteristics of the authenticcommunicator, and of Catholic communications especially."Authentic communication was not concerned with effect, but thetwo extremes seen in modern communication - catastrophicalarmism and consolatory disengagement - did not amount to agood media service. Communicators must do justice to thecomplexities of real life, "to speak to people in theirentirety, to their mind and to their heart, so that they mightbe able to see beyond the immediate, beyond a present that isat risk of being amnesiac and fearful of the future". "Catholicmedia," said the Holy Father, "have an extremely challengingmission as regards social communication: that of seeking tosafeguard communication from everything that deforms it andbends it to other ends. To open and not to close" channels ofdialogue. There is a need to avoid sensationalism and slogansthat serve to dull thought, rather than stimulate it, and toavoid presenting individual people as if they were capable ofsolving all the problems, or, on the contrary, as scapegoats.Rushing to conclusions without taking the time to depict thecomplexity of real life was a frequent mistake in increasinglyfast and unthought-out communication. (AGI).