According to Pope Francis, journalism based on gossip or rumors is a form of “terrorism” and a “weapon of destruction” of both people and nations.
Speaking in Vatican City to a group of 400 journalists from Italy’s Italian National Council of the Order of Journalists, Francis urged journalists not to stoke fear regarding phenomena such as migration forced by war or hunger. According to Reuters, Francis stated that reporters had to go the extra mile to seek the truth, particularly in an age of round-the-clock news coverage.
“I have often spoken of rumors as ‘terrorism,’ of how you can kill a person with the tongue,” Francis said. “This is even more true for journalists because their voice can reach everyone and this is a very powerful weapon.”
Francis, who has often strongly defended the rights of refugees and migrants, said journalism should not be used as a: