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Combat fake news: Pope Francis


Pope Francis has called for “journalism for peace” in response to the threat of fake news, which “thrives on the absence of healthy confrontation with other sources of information”.

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In his message for World Communications Day 2018, which falls on the Sunday before Pentecost, May 13, Pope Francis explored what makes news ‘fake’, how to recognise it, truth as an antidote, and how a “journalism for peace” takes people as its focus.

The Holy Father’s message was released in conjunction with the feast of St Francis de Sales, patron of journalists, on January 24.

Pope Francis stressed he was not advocating a “saccharine kind of journalism that refuses to acknowledge the existence of serious problems or smacks of sentimentalism”.

“On the contrary, I mean a journalism that is truthful and opposed to falsehoods, rhetorical slogans, and sensational headlines,” he wrote.

“A journalism created by people for people, one that is at the service of all, especially those – and they are the majority in our world – who have no voice.

“A journalism less concentrated on breaking news than on exploring the underlying causes of conflicts, in order to promote deeper understanding and contribute to their resolution by setting in place virtuous processes.

“A journalism committed to pointing out alternatives to the escalation of shouting matches and verbal violence.”



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