Friday, September 23, 2016

Responsible Journalism

picture from Zenit

Pope Francis must have finally gotten around to reading Monday's post about "news literacy,"  because he agrees with me. The silliness that passes for news is not worthy of consideration.  What has happened to the profession of journalism?

In an audience today with some journalists the pope expressed what I've been thinking for a long time.  Here are some of his points:

There are few professions that have so much influence on society as journalism does. The journalist has a role of great importance and, at the same time, of great responsibility.

The times change and the way of working of the journalist also changes. Though the printed paper or television lose relevance in respect to the new media of the digital world – especially among young people – when journalists have professionalism, they remain an important pillar, a fundamental element for the vitality of a free and pluralist society. 

I will pause on three elements: to love the truth, something essential for all, but especially for journalists; to live with professionalism, something that goes well beyond laws and regulations; and to respect human dignity, which is much more difficult that one might think at first sight.  

I hope that increasingly and everywhere journalism is an instrument of construction, a factor of common good, an accelerator of processes of reconciliation, which is able to reject the temptation to foment clashes, with a language that blows on the fire of divisions, and, instead, that it foster the culture of encounter. You journalists can remind all every day that there is no conflict that cannot be resolved by women and men of good will.

You have to remember that this is a translation so the written expression isn't as smooth as it should be.  To read the article in Zenit go to this link: 

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