Pope Francis: "Fake News" Topic of 2018 World Communications Day Message

By Lucas Sharma, SJ

As America Media reported earlier today, Pope Francis announced that he will emphasize the negative impacts of “fake news” in his 2018 World Communications Day message. This message will be published January 24th.  The Secretariat for Communications at the Vatican said that Pope Francis chose this theme because the lack of stability and true facts is distorting our public life:

Photo courtesy of  Mike MacKenzie  of the Flickr Creative Commons. 

Photo courtesy of Mike MacKenzie of the Flickr Creative Commons. 

It involves an often misleading distortion of facts, with possible repercussions at the level of individual and collective behaviour. In a context in which the key companies of the social web and the world of institutions and politics have started to confront this phenomenon, the Church too wishes to offer a contribution, proposing a reflection on the causes, the logic and the consequences of disinformation in the media, and helping to promote professional journalism, which always seeks the truth, and therefore a journalism of peace that promotes understanding between people.

World Communications Day will be held on May 13th in most parts of the world, right about the time Jesuit colleges and universities on the semester system hold commencement ceremonies.

How might Jesuit colleges and universities hold discussions in anticipation of the January 24th message release? Aiming to be sanctuaries of truth and justice, what can we do partner with Pope Francis in these efforts, especially in our winter and spring quarters and semesters? How might this be an opportunity for our faculty, staff, and students to engage in courageous truth telling against the distortion of facts present in our political culture? Continue the conversation by sharing your suggestions to these questions below. 

Click here for the official press release from the Vatican Secretariat for Communications

The cover photo can be found on the Flickr Creative Commons