Pope Francis on Thursday encouraged Catholic communicators to deliver news with a broader perspective that respects the human experience amidst the challenges that the industry is facing.
The pontiff issued the appeal during a meeting with the members of the Italian Federation of Catholic Weeklies, the Italian Periodical Press Union, the “Corallo” Association, and the “AIART Media Citizens” Association.
Pope Francis urged media professionals “not to lose sight of and which must always be traveled,” adding, “You must always renew your commitment to the promotion of the dignity of people, to justice and truth, to legality and educational co-responsibility.”
He encouraged the promotion of an “ecology of communication” that emphasizes respect and care, reminding media professionals of their responsibility to form minds and hearts.
Pope Francis also warned against the dangers of the digital world, emphasizing the need to safeguard the vulnerable, including minors, the elderly, and people with disabilities.
He called for the promotion of tools and initiatives that protect the dignity of individuals in the face of intrusive and provocative communication.
“Do not just play defensively but, remaining “small inside”, think big, because you are called to a great task: to protect, through words and images, the dignity of people, especially the dignity of the small and the poor, God’s favorites,” he said.
The pontiff urged media professionals to be witnesses, citing the example of Blessed Carlo Acutis. He praised Acutis for using technology to transmit the Gospel and communicate values and beauty, emphasizing that witness is a form of prophecy and creativity.
He encouraged media professionals to take risks, go against the grain, and speak about fraternity, peace, and attention to the poor in a world often marked by individualism, conflict, and indifference.
“Witness is prophecy, creativity, that liberates and drives us to roll up our sleeves, to come out of our comfort zones to take risks. Yes, fidelity to the Gospel presupposes the capacity to risk for goodness,” he said.