“The ethical quality of communication is the result […] of consciences that are always attentive, never superficial, and always respectful towards others, both those who are the object of the information, and those who are intended to receive the messages.”
These were the words of Pope Francis on Saturday during an audience with the directors and personnel of RAI, the Italian Radio and Television Broadcasting Service, which was held in the Vatican.
The Holy Father began his address by applauding the collaboration between the Holy See and RAI in giving Italians access to major events in the Church’s history. Several of those events included the Second Vatican Council, the election of the pontiffs and the funeral of Blessed John Paul II.
“The RAI has been a witness to processes of change in Italian society in its rapid transformations, and has contributed in a special way to the process of linguistic and cultural unification in Italy,” the Pope also noted.
“But recalling a past rich in conquests requires of us a renewed sense of responsibility for today and for tomorrow.”
Reminding them that their duties are not only informative but also formative, the Holy Father told the RAI personnel to continue their work in the service of truth, goodness and beauty. The Pope also urged a high ethical level of communication, not only in covering subjects of information but in relaying the news to those who receive.
“Everyone, in his own role and with his own responsibility, must be mindful to maintain high ethical levels in communication, and to avoid those things that can cause so much damage: disinformation, defamation, and calumny,” the Pope stressed.
Concluding his address, Pope Francis encouraged them to continue their work in the new year as well as calling on them to place themselves “at the service of the human, cultural and civil growth of society.” (J.A.E.)