Pope Francis on June 4, 2018, echoed the words of the late Italian Journalist Biagio Agnes, calling him “one of the best known Italian journalists, defender of public service, who repeatedly spoke regarding the role of the journalist as the guarantor of correct, reliable, authentic and timely information.”
The Holy Father’s comments came in remarks at the Vatican to a delegation of the “Biagio Agnes” International Journalism Award. This year’s awards will be presented June 22-24 in Sorrento.
The Pope stressed the responsibility of journalists in forming the views of people. And he acknowledged the challenges presented by changing technology and the speed of communications.
In a time when “fake news” has become a major concern in the public arena, Pope Francis stressed three elements that he said are essential for solid journalism: peripheries, truth, and hope.
Peripheries: “Very often, the nerve centers of news production are found in large centers. But this should never make us forget the stories of people living far away in the peripheries.”
Truth: We all know that a journalist is required to write what he thinks, what corresponds to his informed and responsible understanding of an event…Today, in a world where everything is fast, it is increasingly urgent to appeal to the troubled and arduous law of in-depth research, comparison and, if necessary, also of remaining silent rather than harming a person or a group of people or delegitimizing an event.”
Hope: “It is not about telling of a world without problems: it would be an illusion. It is a matter of opening spaces of hope while denouncing situations of degradation and despair.”