In his message for the 51st World Communications Day, whose theme is “Fear not, for I am with you” (Isaiah 43: 5), Pope Francis decried “a constant focus on ‘bad news’ (wars, terrorism, scandals and all sorts of human failure). This has nothing to do with spreading misinformation that would ignore the tragedy of human suffering, nor is it about a naive optimism blind to the scandal of evil. Rather, I propose that all of us work at overcoming that feeling of growing discontent and resignation that can at times generate apathy, fear or the idea that evil has no limits. Moreover, in a communications industry which thinks that good news does not sell, and where the tragedy of human suffering and the mystery of evil easily turn into entertainment, there is always the temptation that our consciences can be dulled or slip into pessimism."
“I would like, then, to contribute to the search for an open and creative style of communication that never seeks to glamorize evil but instead to concentrate on solutions and to inspire a positive and responsible approach on the part of its recipients. I ask everyone to offer the people of our time storylines that are at heart ‘good news.’”
“This good news – Jesus himself – is not good because it has nothing to do with suffering, but rather because suffering itself becomes part of a bigger picture. It is seen as an integral part of Jesus’ love for the Father and for all mankind. In Christ, God has shown his solidarity with every human situation.”
“We need to nurture our hope by reading ever anew the Gospel, ‘reprinted’ in so many editions in the lives of the saints who become icons of God’s love in this world.”
The Pope’s message was published on January 24. World Communications Day takes place on May 28, 2017, the Sunday before Pentecost. The message was, as usual, published on the feast of Saint Francis de Sales, the patron saint of journalists.