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Pope Francis: Fake, Sensationalized News Is a ‘Very Serious Sin’

Pope Francis has called on journalists to avoid sensationalizing the news and digging up old scandals, warning that to do so constitutes a “very serious sin.” In comments to Catholic media on Saturday, he described journalism as one of the most “fundamental” missions in democratic societies but warned against several pitfalls in the business that he said “hurts the heart of the journalist and hurts others.” “You shouldn’t fall into the ‘sins of communication:’ disinformation, or giving just one side, calumny that is sensationalized, or defamation, looking for things that are old news and have been dealt with and bringing them to light today,” the pope said. His remarks came ahead of an upcoming annual communications message, which he reportedly intends to dedicate to “fake news.” While he didn’t address anyone in particular, the pope’s comments come as the U.S. media is dominated by reports of sexual misconduct and harassment allegations against politicians, celebrities, and even President Trump himself. Many of those reports have included claims of years-old and even decades-old alleged misconduct.