In an address to the Foreign Press Association at the Vatican on Saturday, Pope Francis urged journalists to reject fake news and to persevere with the reports on the troubling conditions of suffering people who no longer make it into daily headlines and added “Don’t forget this Mediterranean that is becoming a cemetery.”
The Pope paid tribute to fallen journalists, saying media freedom is a key indicator of a country’s health.
He reminded those present that one of the first things dictatorships do is remove freedom of the press or mask it, not leaving it free.
Francis listened as the association’s president, Patricia Thomas of Associated Press Television, talked about journalists killed, imprisoned, wounded or threatened in their line of work.
Thomas mentioned Lyra Mckee, who was shot dead while covering a riot in Northern Ireland in March, Maltese journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, who died in a car bomb in 2017, and Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, killed in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul last year.