Verify before sharing ‘news’: Pope

Pope Francis (CNS/Paul Haring)

In the age of instant communications and fake news, journalists need to verify information before they share it, Pope Francis said in a message marking World Communications Day. Source: CNS.

“‘Come and see’ is the simplest method to get to know a situation. It is the most honest test of every message, because, in order to know, we need to encounter, to let the person in front of me speak, to let his or her testimony reach me,” the Pope wrote in his message for the celebration of World Communications Day.

The day was celebrated in Australia on May 9 but Vatican and most countries marked World Communications Day yesterday.

The Pope paid homage to journalists who have risked their lives going into the field to cover, verify and share stories the world needed to know, especially “about the hardships endured by persecuted minorities in various parts of the world, numerous cases of oppression and injustice inflicted on the poor and on the environment, and many wars that otherwise would be overlooked”.

“It would be a loss not only for news reporting, but for society and for democracy as a whole, were those voices to fade away,” he said. “Our entire human family would be impoverished.”

But he also railed against those who report or share information that has not been verified and that has no basis in fact.

“All of us are responsible for the communications we make, for the information we share, for the control that we can exert over fake news by exposing it,” the Pope wrote. “All of us are to be witnesses of the truth: to go, to see and to share.”

FULL STORY

Verify before sharing ‘news,’ pope says in Communications Day message(By Cindy Wooden, CNS)

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