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Pope Francis warns media: fake news is a ‘grave sin’

Journalism ‘fundamental’ to democracy, but bias and disinformation hurts everyone

17 December 2017, 2:25pm
Pope Francis, in saying that he will be dedicating his next communications message to fake news, implied that biased media is among the deadliest of sins.

Addressing members of the Italian Periodical Press Union yesterday, the pontiff said that “slander, which is sensationalistic, or defamation, looking for outdated and old things, and bringing them to light today,” is a “grave sin” which brings harm to everyone involved.

Journalism should be based on “thoughtful reflection”, he said, rather than sensationalism and “overheating of emotion”.

Known for his tolerant and unconventional speeches, Pope Francis said that news should provide reliable information which “does not aim to amaze and excite,” but makes “readers develop a healthy critical sense.”