The Pope in a curious address to a group of Italian journalists compared journalism based upon “gossip or rumors” to terrorism.
Speaking to a gathering of Italian journalists Thursday, Pope Francis argued that journalism that peddles gossip or rumors is “terrorism.”
Francis, in his address to National Council Order of Journalists, reminded the audience that he has often likened gossip to terrorism — “how it is possible to kill someone with tongue” — and said, “This applies to individual people — in the family or at work — but even more so to journalists because their voice can reach everyone, and this is a very powerful weapon.”
“Journalism must always respect the dignity of the person,” he continued. “Journalism cannot be a weapon for the destruction of people or even populations. Nor must it fuel fears in relation to changes or phenomena such as forced migration due to hunger or war.”
The Pope described the type of journalism he would like to see:
“I hope that increasingly and everywhere journalism may be a tool for construction, a factor of the common good and for the acceleration of processes of reconciliation; that it may be able to resist the temptation to foment confrontation, with a language that stokes the flames of division, instead of favoring a culture of encounter,” Francis said.
Go here to read the rest. In short, the Pope wants a journalism that can be relied upon to support his agenda. People who are in power rarely are fans of the media. In much of the world those in power have the ability to make the media perform like a chorus of trained seals. PopeWatch fears that Pope Francis might prefer that system in preference to one of free debate where his policies are subject to criticism and analysis.