Pope Francis Condemns Fake News, This American Addresses Media Omissions

Pope Francis Condemns Fake News, This American Addresses Media Omissions
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“The truth will set you free: Fake news and journalism for peace” is Pope Francis’s message for the 2018 World Day of Social Communications which seeks to eliminate the spread of false information with truth.

An omission is a failure to do something one can and ought to do.

By Eileen Fleming

“The truth will set you free: Fake news and journalism for peace” was issued after months of debate on how much fake news may have influenced the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign and the election of President Donald Trump.

Pope Francis said in the first document by a pope on the subject: “Fake news is a sign of intolerant and hypersensitive attitudes, and leads only to the spread of arrogance and hatred. That is the end result of untruth.”

“The truth will set you free: Fake news and journalism for peace” is the Pope’s message for World Day of Social Communications, which is globally celebrated on the Sunday after Pentecost, which next falls on May 13, 2018.

“The truth will set you free: Fake news and journalism for peace” was published on Jan. 24, the feast of Saint Francis de Sales, the patron saint of journalists.

The Pope’s communiqué  put forward “a reflection on the causes, the logic and the consequences of disinformation in the media” with the goal to promote “professional journalism, which always seeks the truth, and therefore a journalism of peace that promotes understanding between people.”

Pope Francis has often spoken about journalism and the need to provide accurate, constructive reporting that doesn’t degrade or defame others.

In October 2016, the Pope prayed that journalists, “in carrying out their work, may always be motivated by respect for the truth and a strong sense of ethics.”

Regarding the ‘sin of omission’ by not reporting all sides of a story the Pope said that to do, “This is to misinform. Because you, the viewer, you give them half of the truth. And therefore they cannot make a serious judgment on the complete truth.”

Misinforming people “is probably the greatest harm that media can do. Because it directs opinion in one direction, taking away the other half of the truth,” Francis said.

The pope said the role of journalists was “not just a job, it is a mission” that “reporters have a particular responsibility to stem fake news and journalism should be “less concentrated on breaking news than on exploring the underlying causes of conflicts”. 

This American reporter responds to the Pope’s encouragement by publishing my latest Letter to The New York Times, they did not publish which was in response to “Vision, Chutzpah and Some Testosterone” published in the NYT Opinion Section on January 17, 2018.

TO: New York Times <letters@nytimes.com> on Jan 18, 2018 at 10:15 AM

Subject: Reacting to: ‘Vision, Chutzpah and Some Testosterone’

Dear Editor,

In ‘Vision, Chutzpah and Some Testosterone’ EMILY ROBERTSON wrote:

“I’m thrilled at his support for Israel. Nikki Haley is one of his best appointments, and I love seeing strong women stand up for what’s right on a global stage.”

This American wondered if Emily had ever spoken to a Palestinian Christian?

I also wondered how many of the “well informed” letter writers were Christian and were they aware of the Christian Exodus from the Holy Land?

Before Israel became a state 20% of the population of the Holy Land was Christian. Today Christians number less than 2% due to low birth rates and fleeing Israel’s military occupation that could not be sustained without USA support and tax dollars.

I agree with Emily about Trump’s tweeting but my plea to the media is to “be a lot more evenhanded in its coverage” of Israel.

I offer “30 Minutes with Vanunu” video interview with Israel’s nuclear whistle blower Mordechai Vanunu, who remains in Jerusalem with hope the NYT will report on Vanunu’s human rights struggle.

“HOPE has two children.The first is ANGER at the way things are. The second is COURAGE to DO SOMETHING about it.”-St. Augustine

Most sincerely,

Eileen Fleming


Eileen Fleming, Senior Non-Arab Correspondent for USA’s TADN writes HERE

Eileen Fleming produced the UNCENSORED “30 Minutes with Vanunu” Mordechai, Israel’s nuclear whistleblower

Contact her HERE 



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Eileen Fleming

Senior Non-Arab Correspondent for TADN at The Arab Daily News
Senior Non-Arab Correspondent for The Arab Daily News
Producer "30 Minutes with Vanunu" who founded WeAreWideAwake.org in response to her first of 8 trips to both sides of The Wall in Palestine Israel.
In 2012, Eileen ran for US House of Representatives District 5, in Fl.
Read her FREE eBooks and more at:http://www.eileenfleming.org/
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