Pope Francis has expressed his gratitude to journalists, media workers, and those selling newspapers in the streets amid the pandemic for sharing “stories of hope.”
The pontiff noted in a letter released by the Vatican on April 27 that “for weeks already street newspapers have not been sold, and their vendors are unable to work.”
The pope expressed his “closeness” to journalists and those who earn a living through the media “and who in these times are hard at work with many innovative ideas.”
“The pandemic has made your work difficult, but I am sure that the large global network of street newspapers will come back stronger than before,” said the pontiff.
He said that looking at the poorest, in these days, “can help us all to be aware of what is truly happening to us, and of our true condition.”
“I send you all my message of encouragement and fraternal friendship. Thank you for the work you do, for the information you give, and for the stories of hope you tell,” said Pope Francis.
The pope specifically noted “street papers,” publications that are produced to support those who write, edit and distribute them.
He said these newspapers often seek to give the marginalized a voice in their community.
More than 100 street papers are published in 35 countries, in 25 different languages. They provide 20,500 people with employment and an income, said the pontiff.
He cited a Caritas Italy project called ‘Scarp de’ Tenis’, a publication that provides income and “access to fundamental citizens’ rights” to over 130 people.
“The life of millions of people, in our world that is already gripped by many difficult challenges to face and oppressed by the pandemic, has changed and has been put to a harsh test,” said Pope Francis.
“Those who are most fragile, the invisible, those without fixed abode, risk paying the heaviest price,” he added.
He said most of those who sell the newspapers are also homeless; “people who are gravely marginalized, unemployed: thousands of people who throughout the world earn a living and have a job thanks to the sales of these extraordinary newspapers.”