Fake News & Journalism for Peace — Pope Francis : “The Truth Will Set You Free.”

“Fake news is a sign of intolerant and hypersensitive attitudes, and leads only to the spread of arrogance and hatred. That is the end result of untruth. (…) This false but believable news is ‘captious’, inasmuch as it grasps people’s attention by appealing to stereotypes and common social prejudices and exploiting instantaneous emotions like anxiety, contempt, anger and frustration.”

Pope Francis — January 24 2018

“The Pope is not saying that all journalists are snakes but he is certainly acknowledging that they can be.”

Vatican spokesman Greg Burke

Pope Francis leads his Wednesday general audience in Saint Peter’s square at the Vatican January 24, 2018. REUTERS/Tony Gentile

January 24 2018 — On the feast of Saint Francis de Sales — patron saint of journalism — Pope Francis demands truth. Follow us on Twitter: @Intel_Today

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Today (January 24 2018), Pope Francis denounced the “snake tactics” of those who spread fake news. The Pope has written a new document on the topic: The Truth Will Set You Free – Fake News and Journalism for Peace.

This document was issued ahead of the Catholic Church’s World Communications Day on May 13 2018.

“Spreading fake news can serve to advance specific goals, influence political decisions, and serve economic interests.”

“We need to unmask what could be called the ‘snake tactics’ used by those who disguise themselves in order to strike at any time and place.”

“Education for truth”

The Pope recommends an “education for truth”.  People should be taught how to discern, evaluate and understand information.

On the role of Journalism

The Pope had also a message to journalists. Journalism is a mission, not just a job. Journalists should be the protectors of the truth.

Journalists should focus less on breaking news and more on exploring the underlying causes of conflicts.

Moreover, true journalism should be committed to “pointing out alternatives to the escalation of shouting matches and verbal violence.”

“Amid feeding frenzies and the mad rush for a scoop, they must remember that the heart of information is not the speed with which it is reported or its audience impact, but persons.”

Vatican spokesman Greg Burke — a former reporter for U.S. outlets — told Reuters Television:

“The Pope is not saying that all journalists are snakes but he is certainly acknowledging that they can be.”

Pope Francis against ‘fake news’: “We need to unmask snake-tactics”  

REFERENCES

Pope says serpent temptation in Bible ‘first fake news’ — BBC News

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Fake News & Journalism for Peace — Pope Francis : “The Truth Will Set You Free.”

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