A journalist’s role

Pope Francis comes out with statements on the role of journalism in the world.

Pope Francis has been famous for his humility, emphasis on mercy and dedication to the poor and youth. More recently, Francis has addressed the role of journalists in a tumultuous world.

“If responsibility is the answer to the spread of fake news, then a weighty responsibility rests on the shoulders of those whose job is to provide information, namely, journalists, the protectors of the news,” Francis said.

In 2018, the church will celebrate World Communication Day on May 13, where the theme is “Truth Will Set You Free. (Jn 8:32) Fake news and journalism for peace.” This theme was released on Jan. 24, the Catholic feast day of Francis de Sales, the patron saint of journalists.

Francis’ role in the global debate over the fake news is groundbreaking for Catholics around the world. The Pope’s viewpoint stems from the Garden of Eden, where Satan tempted humanity into sinful “snake tactics.”

“Untrue stories can spread so quickly that even authoritative denials fail to contain the damage,” Francis said. “The tragedy of disinformation is that it discredits others, presenting them as enemies, to the point of demonizing them and fomenting conflict. Fake news is a sign of intolerant and hypersensitive attitudes, and leads only to the spread of arrogance and hatred.”

The spread of fake news is a concept that was repeatedly referred to during the 2016 U.S. election campaign. The media critically exposed Trump’s morality and lies and also Hilary Clinton’s secrets of the email scandal. Now, as Italy prepares for its election in March 2018, the buzz of fake news has resurfaced.

Francis’ goal is to try to eradicate stereotypes and common social prejudices because it leads to unhealthy emotions, like anxiety, contempt, and anger because it fosters fake news. Human nature desires to possess power, but Francis combats these human temptations which began in the Garden of Eden by proclaiming the truth. The snake “began the tragic history of human sin” stated Francis and Eve then learned the evils and knowledge of the world.

As head of the Church, Francis is determined for the world to relearn “the dignity of journalism and the personal responsibility of  journalists to communicate the truth.”

“Amid feeding frenzies and the mad rush for a scoop, [journalists] must remember that the heart of information is not the speed with which it is reported or its audience impact, but persons,” Francis said. “[Journalism is] not just a job, it is a mission.”