People need factual and trustworthy news that avoids sensationalism and whipping up heated reactions, Pope Francis said.
It is important the press not be “constantly at the mercy of easy slogans or improvised information campaigns, which show the intention of manipulating reality, opinions and people themselves, often creating worthless ‘media dust storms’,” he told members of the press.
“Your voice – free and responsible – is fundamental for the growth of any society that wishes to call itself a democracy, so that the continuous exchange of ideas and a fruitful debate based on real and correctly reported information may be guaranteed,” he said.
The pope spoke on 16th December with members of the Italian Periodical Press Union and members of the Italian Federation of Catholic Weeklies, which represents nearly 200 Catholic newspapers.
He praised in particular the value, necessity and effectiveness of diocesan weeklies, which he said require “a renewed commitment” from priests and the whole church community, and “kind attention from public authorities.”