Pope Francis, during a Vatican event where he presented a journalism award, strongly condemned the propagation of “disinformation” and fake news as the primary transgression of journalism, aimed at manipulating public opinion.
Acknowledged for his effective communication skills, the pontiff employed the term “sins” to delineate what he identified as the four key wrongdoings of the media, as outlined in the Vatican’s translated statement of his remarks.
Francis specified these misdeeds as follows: “Disinformation, which arises when journalism fails to provide accurate or proper information; slander, occasionally utilized; defamation, distinct from slander but equally destructive; and the fourth is… the pursuit of scandal.”
He expressed his apprehensions regarding the manipulation by certain parties that deliberately spread false news to steer public sentiment. He called for a renewed sense of responsibility, especially as Europe grapples with the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.
The Pope expressed his aspiration for the amplification of voices advocating for peace and those committed to resolving not only the Ukrainian conflict but also various other disputes.
Throughout his tenure as the leader of the world’s 1.3 billion Catholics, Francis, aged 86, has engaged extensively with the media, displaying comfort and expansiveness in interviews, a departure from his predecessor, Benedict XVI.
Earlier this year, a candid documentary titled “Conversations with the Pope” was released on the Disney+ streaming platform, showcasing his unreserved interactions with young adults.
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